Tell me if this sounds like you:
It’s time to schedule your next dental appointment and the thought of sitting in the dental chair having an unfamiliar hygienist scraping away at your plaque and telling you to floss better sends a shiver of anxiety down your spine.
It’s not uncommon for patients of all ages to experience some form of dental anxiety. However, the extent of fear varies greatly from patient to patient. For some, the idea of being in a relatively vulnerable position makes them uncomfortable. For others (particularly those who are less than diligent about their at-home care), it’s the prospect of needing extensive dental care to restore health to the their smile.
How dental anxiety affects an individual also depends on the patient. While some are able to power through their appointment, a number of patients experience panic attacks at the thought of scheduling their next visit. This can cause them to put off much needed dental cleanings and exams. At the end of the day, patients that postpone routine six month teeth cleanings end up facing more serious oral health issues that require more extensive rehabilitation.
There’s a way to avoid these consequences and get the comprehensive care you deserve. The answer? Sedation Dentistry.
What is Sedation Dentistry?
Dental sedation is the medication specifically used to help patients relax during dental procedures. This medication can be administered in three unique ways, each of which provide their own advantages.
Better known as “laughing gas”, nitrous oxide is a mild sedative mixed with oxygen that’s inhaled via a nose mask. While nitrous has become a popular sedative for kids and teens, this form of sedation is a popular option for adults who experience minor anxiety but do not need to be completely sedated during their visit.
Administered as a pill, oral conscious sedation is much like Valium or Xanax in that patients remain fully conscious and responsive but tend to forget the details of their procedure. As a result, oral sedation is recommended for individuals who suffer from moderate sedation as well as patients undergoing more extensive treatments like extraction, root canals, or gum disease treatment.
Intravenous, or IV sedation is typically the strongest form of sedation as dosages can be better personalized to each patient’s upcoming treatments and needs. As a result, this form of sedation is ideal for patients who are preparing for more extensive treatment plans, including oral surgery and dental implant placement. It’s also extremely effective for individuals with serious dental fears. While under IV sedation, patients remain conscious and responsive but do not remember any part of their treatment.
Tackle Dental Fear with Sedation Dentistry Today
Dental sedation doesn’t just help patients alleviate symptoms of dental anxiety. By helping individuals put their fears aside, it’s easier for patients to receive the comprehensive and necessary treatments needed to protect their healthy smiles. As sedation helps promote positive experiences, it can help patients who’ve previously faced dental anxiety overcome their fears and adopt a new perspective on dental care as a whole.
At St. Louis Dental Partnership, our mission is to provide patients with lasting dental health in a welcoming, friendly environment. Whether you have dental anxiety or are looking for an improved dental experience, our sedation dentist in St. Louis can help you enjoy your next visit free from pain and anxiety. Call today to schedule your next appointment.