Do you remember how you felt when you were called to the principal’s office when you were a kid? No matter the reason you are going there, you worried. It’s a common response, even if in the end, you had nothing to worry about.
Do you get a similar feeling now when you think about going to the dentist? Does your next scheduled dental appointment leave you filled with anxiety?
We certainly hope not, but we also realize many people are nervous about the dentist’s office.
Maybe you are a parent with a child who is afraid of the dentist, and you wish there was a way to keep your little one calm so he or she would sit still for a cleaning and exam.
Sedation dentistry is a great option for adults and children who could use a little help relaxing when they come to the dentist. That’s why we offer three types of sedation dentistry at Beaumont Family Dentistry in Lexington.
Explaining sedation dentistry
If you’re reading this, you know that dentistry is the field of medicine that deals with your mouth and all the things inside. Sedation is “a relaxed, calm, or sleepy condition that results from taking a drug,” according to Merriam-Webster.
So sedation dentistry involves giving a patient medication to help him or her relax so he or she can receive dental care.
It sounds simple enough, but you may be wondering if you could benefit from sedation. The good news is sedation is perfectly safe, so you may want to consider it if one of the following describes you or one of your children:
– “I am afraid of the dentist.” Dental fear or dental anxiety is incredibly common. In the United States, between 9 and 20 percent of adults avoid going to the dentist because of their fear, according to webmd.com. That’s up to 64 million Americans based on recent census data.
We know we can tell you we aren’t going to hurt you, that there is nothing to fear, but that probably won’t ease your concerns.
However, we do know that sedation will help your relax and remain calm throughout your treatment. This allows you to get the care your need without feeling any anxiety while it’s happening.
– “I can’t sit still.” Certainly, this might apply to children, but some adults having trouble staying in one place, too. This may be a response to anxiety, or it may just be that you are a person with a lot of energy.
No matter the reason you may wiggle, sedation will help you relax into the chair for a cleaning or other treatment.
– “I gag easily.” Everyone has a gag reflex, but up to 15 percent of people have a “hypersensitive gag reflex,” according to an article written for livescience.com. We know this can be a problem when we are cleaning your teeth or asking you to bite down while holding something in your mouth.
When you feel more relaxed, you are much less likely to gag. Here’s another case where the relaxed state created by sedation helps us help you.
– “I don’t even want to think about the dentist.” Here’s some great news about sedation. Many patients feel like their treatment took place while they were asleep or in a dream, and some have no memory whatever of their treatment.
To get the best oral care we can provide, you need to feel relaxed and comfortable. This is good for you and the person cleaning or examining your teeth. Sedation can keep you comfortable and calm throughout your procedure.
Types of sedation
We offer three types of sedation at Beaumont Family Dentistry. The first two will work for most patients during a professional cleaning or examination. The final one is for people with severe dental anxiety or for patients undergoing more complicated procedures.
1. Laughing gas – Officially, this is called nitrous oxide. Patients who receive this have a mask placed over their nose. They inhale the gas as they breath, and it quickly induces a state of relaxation.
This type of sedation is safe for children and adults, and it wears off about as quickly as it takes effect. When your procedure is finished, we remove the gas, and you can get on with the rest of your day.
2. Oral conscious sedation — For this type of sedation, you will need to take a pill about an hour before your scheduled procedure. You will feel groggy and you may fall asleep with this medication.
As with the laughing gas, you’ll remain relaxed throughout your procedure, but unlike laughing gas, this will take some time to wear off. You will need someone to drive you to and from your appointment. When it’s over, you will need to go home and rest until the effects wear off.
3. IV sedation — This is the sedation you will receive if you need a more complicated treatment. This is the strongest sedation we offer, and it must be administered by a licensed professional. Our own Dr. Ryan Golibersuch has completed the training for this to ensure it is administered correctly and safely.
It’s likely you won’t recall you procedure if you receive IV sedation. You will need a family member or friend to take you home, and you will need to rest once you get there.
Get the care you need
Don’t let your worries prevent you from getting the dental care you need. Brushing and flossing are essential to your oral health, but so is professional dental care.
To make an appointment or to learn more about our sedation options, call any Beaumont Family Dentistry office or use our online form to schedule your visit.
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