I’ve been afraid of the dentist most of my life. I need to get a lot of work done and am just scared to go. I keep hearing that sedation dentistry can solve my problem, but that scares me too. Is there anything I need to know when considering a sedation dentist?
I’m glad you wrote. Yes, what you’ve heard is true. Sedation dentistry has changed the lives of many patients who suffer from dental anxiety. It allows them to finally get the care they need while feeling calm. You’re obviously braver than you think. You’re reaching out to get information on something that terrifies you because you know it’s an important aspect of your healthcare. To me that says a lot about your courage and character.
To answer your question, here are some things you should know to help you with a sedation dentist.
There is more than one type of sedation.
Level One: Nitrous Oxide
If you just need something to relax you a bit and aide the local anesthetic to work more effectively, then I’d consider nitrous. Some people refer to it as laughing gas or goofy gas. Aside from helping you relax, its biggest benefit is that once your work is done, they just change the mixture of the gas and you’re immediately back to normal and able to conquer the rest of your day.
Level Two: Oral Conscious Sedation
This is a much deeper state of relaxation. It’s for patients with a more severe level of anxiety. The benefit is, while you’re still conscious, it’s so strong you can just sleep through the procedure if you desire. In fact, some people call it sleep dentistry. It’s only real downside is its strength means you can’t just get on with your day. You’ll be woozy and will need someone to transport you.
Level Three: I.V. Sedation
First, you should know that not all dentists offer this level. It’s mostly for patients who are so terrified of dental care they want to be knocked out.
You want a sedation dentist with specialized training.
One of the things which should give you peace of mind is getting a sedation dentist who is licensed and received the proper training. Ask them about their training and their emergency protocols. If you’re not comfortable with their answers, find a different sedation dentist.
Go over your medical history.
Every sedation dentist should have a consultation with you before your actual treatment where they go over your medical history. Tell them about all medications you’re taking, including over-the-counter and herbal remedies.
This helps them get an idea of what your body already has in it and avoid any contraindications with medication they may need to give you. Each sedation dentist prefers a different medication. If they know ahead of time it will interfere with something you’re currently taking they can get a medication for you that won’t.
You can get much more work done.
Especially with oral conscious sedation and I.V. sedation, you can get much more work done at each appointment then you’d normally be able to. This allows you to get your oral healthcare “caught up” much faster.
This blog is brought to you by Lafayette, LA Cosmetic Dentist Dr. Ashley Price.