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Patients with Dental Anxiety Jump for Joy for Sedation Dentistry


Nothing can make people more nervous than a dentist appointment, and they avoid a dental check-up because of it. When you ask patients with dental anxiety what makes them so uncomfortable about the dentist office, they have a variety of reasons and factors which cause them to suffer from mild panic the second they walk into the office.

Well, they don’t have to suffer from dreaded panic any longer with the help of sedation dentistry to calm the nerves during any dental operation. You can sit back and relax while your dentist takes good care of your teeth. It will feel as though it was all a dream and you woke up with a bright, clean smile.

What is Dental Anxiety?

Dental anxiety is a strong fear of visiting the dentist. It could result from many different things including a previous bad experience with a dental professional or an anxiety about the possible pain associated with dental procedures. Visiting the dentist every six months is crucial, and dental medicine has advanced to help the people suffering from dental anxiety. Here’s how to deal with dental anxiety.

How sedation dentistry helps with dental anxiety

Patients with dental anxiety don’t have to suffer through another dental visit with major panics and nerves. The patient will receive a local anesthetic to remove additional pain sensations while the dentist works on the mouth. This anesthetic is excellent for almost any patient, though it is essential to review and discuss the patient's prior medical history to ensure a smooth sedation procedure.

The more intensive procedures often don’t require dental sedation. Dental sedation is even used for more minor procedures such as teeth cleaning. It all depends on the patient's level of comfort in regards to dental procedures. For patients with a low pain threshold, sensitive teeth or an active gag reflex, this is an ideal solution to help you through more complicated treatments.

What is Sedation Dentistry?

But what is dental sedation, exactly? The process puts the patient into a semi-conscious and very relaxed state (also known as "sleep sedation"). Sedation dentistry for dental anxiety is done so that the patient can effectively "sleep" through the procedure, thereby reducing such sensations as awareness, anxiety, memory recall, and pain. Just put: It is harder to be anxious about a process that you cannot feel, much less remember.

The use of sedatives triggers dental sedation, such as those found in the Valium or Brevital family of medications. The patient takes the painkillers before the procedure to create a relaxed environment during the dental treatment or induce anesthesia to ensure a deeper sleep.

Your dentist administers your dental sedation during the appointment. During the procedure, the dentist will apply to correct medication amount to the patient for them to feel comfortable and relaxed quickly.

Types of sedation dentistry

The procedure for sedation dentistry is an extremely safe process, as administered by an anesthesiologist. People who are afraid of the dentist can worry less about a dental procedure with sedation dentistry, but what exactly happens? Dentists use medicine to relax their patients. There are four levels of sleep dentistry that an anesthesiologist can administer to a patient:

  • Minimal Sedation: The patient is awake but lucid and relaxed. This will relax you while still being awake.
  • Moderate Sedation (otherwise known as "conscious sedation"): A patient remains awake but not cognizant of the procedure. Indications of moderate sedation include slurring of speech, and not retaining much memory of the procedure. You may also hear this being referred to as conscious sedation. You may slur your words and have little memory of the procedure.
  • Deep Sedation: The patient remains on the fringes of consciousness but can remain awake relatively easy.
  • General Anesthesia: The patient is entirely "out" and unconscious.

Dentists administer the sedation  in several ways:

  • Deep sedation: places the patient in an unconscious state.
  • General anesthesia: generally uses a combination of inhaled gases and intravenous medications to make patients unable to respond or feel any pain during the dental procedure
  • Intravenously (IV): Gives a patient a sedative through their vein and allows the medication to work very quickly.

How do you know if you need dental sedation?

To determine if relaxation dentistry is right for you, answer the following questions:

  • Do you have a low pain threshold?
  • Are your teeth sensitive?
  • Do you have a hard time sitting still in a dentist’s chair?

If you have answered yes to at least one of these questions, you possibly suffer from dental anxiety. For your next dental checkup, ask your dentist about your options for sedation and a more relaxed dental experience.

Chill Out for Your Next Dental Procedure

Cabrillo Family Dental offers sedation dentistry for patients who are in need of calming their nerves during a dental visit. We want your teeth to be maintained and not allow your anxiety to keep you from having healthy teeth. Schedule a consultation with us today!