Have you been delaying needed dental treatment due to dental anxiety? You are not alone. Nearly 75% of Americans experience some sort of dental fear. If you experience feelings of nervousness or anxiety you might be the perfect candidate for dental sedation.
Common reasons for dental anxiety include:
- Fear of Pain
- Feelings of Helplessness
- Loss of Control
- Loss of Personal Space
Many patients delay dental treatment until they are experiencing pain. Often, by the time patients seek dental treatment they have multiple dental needs including periodontal disease, severe decay, and abscesses. Dental care is an important part of your overall general health. Dental sedation is the pharmacological approach to altering a patient’s awareness and consciousness. Axiom Dentistry offers several sedation options. Medications can vary based on the patient’s needs and medical history.
The most commonly offered form of dental sedation is the use of Nitrous Oxide (N2O) combined with Oxygen (O2). Since 1772 nitrous oxide gas has been safely used to reduce anxiety and pain with little to no side effects. Nitrous oxide gas is inhaled through a nasal hood. It can be administered at any time to almost any patient. It produces a euphoric feeling that can be adjusted throughout the dental procedure according to the patient’s needs. The effects are short lived making it possible for patients to drive themselves both to and from their appointment. Once the N2O has been discontinued, the patient will breathe plain oxygen and be alert and awake within minutes. This form of sedation is best suited for low anxiety levels or light procedures such as routine cleanings.
In some cases, the level of anxiety that a patient suffers requires a deeper level of sedation. Oral medications can be extremely effective in treating more intense dental phobias. The most commonly prescribed drugs to treat dental anxiety are in the “benzodiazepine” family. These drugs not only ease anxiety but induce drowsiness. Patients may recognize the brand names as Valium, Xanax, Ativan, or Halcion. One or more of these medications can be used prior to dental treatment and can be combined with nitrous oxide gas to create a sleep-like state in which the patient will be able to respond to stimuli however will likely have no memory of the procedure. There can be risks associated with taking any prescribed or over-the-counter medication. For this reason, it is important to share an accurate and current medical history with your dentist and provide a list of all medications you may be taking.
With today’s dental sedation options there is no longer any reason to let dental fear rob you of a confident and healthy smile. Whether you experience mild anxiety, panic attacks, or fainting, sedation dentistry can provide a relaxing and comfortable dental experience. Contact the professionals at Axiom Dentistry and learn about sedation options that may be right for you. Alleviate your anxiety and enjoy a comfortable dental experience.