Many people experience worry and stress when they have to see the dentist. From the sounds of dental tools to the discomfort of sitting in the dental chair, it is understandable for some people to dread dental appointments. However, sedation dentistry is an option for those suffering from severe dental anxiety.
Sedation Can Help With Dental Anxiety And Phobia
Dental anxiety refers to the uneasy or apprehensive feeling experienced before or during a dental appointment. It can range from mild nervousness to extreme fear. For some patients, this may be an irrational, intense fear that leads them to avoid seeking necessary oral care altogether. This fear may stem from bad experiences, embarrassment about oral conditions, or general anxiety.
Sedatives help patients feel more at ease by reducing their level of consciousness without inducing total sleepiness like anesthesia does. This allows them to remain conscious but relaxed throughout the procedure, making treatment much easier for both the patient and the dentist.
You Will Be Conscious But Relaxed During The Procedure
While general anesthesia renders patients unconscious throughout their treatment, sedation only alters consciousness enough so that individuals are still awake yet completely relaxed. Different levels of sedative strength are available depending on each person's needs.
Patients under sedation often describe feeling dreamy or detached from reality while remaining fully aware of what is happening around them.
You Will Need A Ride Home After Your Appointment
Sedatives can cause drowsiness, impaired judgment, slowed reaction times, and coordination issues, making it unsafe for patients to operate vehicles or machinery after their dental appointments. This step after your treatment is especially important if you have been given a more potent sedative during your visit.
To ensure a patient's safety and compliance with the law, it is imperative that patients arrange for someone else to drive them. Depending on your situation, a friend, family member, or taxi service could pick you up from your appointment. It is best to plan so you will not have any complications post-appointment.
You Will Need To Fast Before Your Appointment
Fasting reduces the risk of complications, and it also ensures that sedatives work effectively, as certain substances in the stomach may interfere with drug absorption. This could lead to a patient feeling delayed effects or even unexpectedly powerful effects.
Patients should follow their dentist's specific fasting guidelines before their appointment - typically abstaining from food and drink for several hours or longer before sedation. However, certain medications may be allowed with a small sip of water, but be sure to consult your dentist.
For more information about sedation dentistry, reach out to a local clinic.