While visiting the dentist is not high on anyone’s list of favorite things to do, for some people the anxiety goes way beyond the usual. Thankfully, Dr. Robert Harrell and his highly skilled staff at Adult Dentistry of Ballantyne understand the fear and can alleviate it through a variety of sedation methods. Many patients are surprised to discover that sedation isn’t reserved for root canals and similar procedures. It can be a gamechanger for regular cleanings and scaling appointments, too. Discover more about dental anxiety below:
Most people can live with having some anxiety about going to the dentist. For those with dental phobia, however, the thought of a dental visit is terrifying. They may be so frightened, in fact, that they’ll do just about anything to avoid a dental appointment.
A phobia is an intense, unreasonable fear. People can fear a specific activity, object or situation. People with dental phobia often put off routine care for years or even decades. To avoid it, they’ll put up with gum infections (periodontal disease), pain, or even broken and unsightly teeth.
Dental anxiety and phobia are extremely common. It has been estimated that 9% to 15% of Americans avoid seeing the dentist because of anxiety and fear. That’s about 30 million to 40 million people. In a survey by the British Dental Health Foundation, 36% of those who didn’t see a dentist regularly said that fear was the main reason. Learn more about how common dental anxiety is from Colgate
Different Sedation Options Are Available To Maximize Your Comfort
At ADOB, we want to openly discuss your dental anxiety and come up with a suitable plan. Skipping out on your mouthcare is not the solution, but coming to our practice is. Our staff wants you to enjoy a pleasant and fear-free experience from the moment you walk through our door. Simply discussing your concerns with us will let us share the variety of options we have to help you feel secure about setting a dental appointment.
Keep reading to learn more about dental sedation practices:
A lot of people are so phobic about going to the dentist that they prefer not to have any treatment.
For people who avoid dentists like the plague, sedation dentistry may take away some of their anxiety. Sedation can be used for everything from invasive procedures to a simple tooth cleaning. How it’s used depends on the severity of the fear.
What Is Sedation Dentistry?
Sedation dentistry uses medication to help patients relax during dental procedures. It’s sometimes referred to as “sleep dentistry,” although that’s not entirely accurate. Patients are usually awake with the exception of those who are under general anesthesia.
The levels of sedation used include:
Inhaled minimal sedation. You breathe nitrous oxide — otherwise known as “laughing gas” — combined with oxygen through a mask that’s placed over your nose. The gas helps you relax. Your dentist can control the amount of sedation you receive, and the gas tends to wear off quickly. This is the only form of sedation where you may be able to drive yourself home after the procedure.
Oral sedation. Depending on the total dose given, oral sedation can range from minimal to moderate. For minimal sedation, you take a pill. Typically, the pill is Halcion, which is a member of the same drug family as Valium, and it’s usually taken about an hour before the procedure. The pill will make you drowsy, although you’ll still be awake. A larger dose may be given to produce moderate sedation. This is the type of anesthesia most commonly associated with sedation dentistry. Some people become groggy enough from moderate oral sedation to actually fall asleep during the procedure. They usually can, though, be awakened with a gentle shake.
IV moderate sedation. You receive the sedative drug through a vein, so it goes to work more quickly. This method allows the dentist to continually adjust the level of sedation.
Deep sedation and general anesthesia. You will get medications that will make you either almost unconscious or totally unconscious — deeply asleep — during the procedure. While you are under general anesthesia, you cannot easily be awakened until the effects of the anesthesia wear off or are reversed with medication. Read more about common oral sedation practices compliments of WebMD
New Year, New Smile!
Don’t neglect your smile any longer. Adult Dentistry Of Ballantyne is ready to provide you with the positive dental experience you didn’t think was possible. And don’t just take our word for it…check out what Natasha has to say:
To learn more about sedation dentistry, schedule a free, no-obligation smile consultation with Dr. Harrell. Call 704-541-9888 or use the contact form on this page to make your appointment. During your consultation a complimentary digital smile preview (an $85 value) will be created to show how you will appear when your sedation dentistry treatment is complete.