If the thought of visiting the dentist makes you anxious, know that you are not alone. Many people experience anxiety and skip going to the dentist altogether. However, ignoring oral issues can leads to more serious issues that may not come immediately. To curb this problem, scientists came up with something called sleep dentistry or sedation dentistry for people struggling with dental anxiety. This blog will explore how sleep dentistry work and why you should choose it for your dental anxiety.
Introducing Sleep Dentistry for Dental Anxiety
Sleep dentistry utilizes medications to help a patient relax during a dental procedure. Different types of sedatives are utilized and sleep dentistry can be applied to many treatments. Therefore, if you have anxiety, sleep dentistry can help you get the care you need in a comfortable environment. The types of sedations used in sleep dentistry include;
Types of Sedations in Sleep Dentistry
There are different methods used by dentists to keep their patients at ease. Therefore, when you go to a dentist, it is crucial to discuss the best type of sedation based on the procedure and level of anxiety. Each type has its advantages and disadvantages.
- Oral Sedation
Oral sedation method involves swallowing a pill to make you feel relaxed or drowsy. You will remain awake during the procedure but less aware of everything happening. The procedure is used in a wide scope of dental treatments and the effect can last for hours. Therefore, you may need someone to ensure you get home safely.
- Inhaled Minimal Sedation
This is also known as the laughing gas method. It involves inhaling a gas (nitrous oxide) through a mask to feel relaxed and lightheaded. The method of sedation is used in procedures like fillings and cleanings. It kicks in and wears off quickly, which means it is applied in shirt-time procedures.
- IV Moderate Sedation
It is also called conscious sedation that is administered through an IV. This form of sedation makes you sleepy and unaware of everything happening in the room. The method is used in complex dental procedures like root canals or extractions. Like oral sedation, its effects lasts for several hours.
- General Anesthesia and Deep Sedation
Odontophobia is anxiety about orthodontics and people with severe cases may require deep sedation or the application of general anesthesia. With this type of sedation, you fall into deep sleep such that you might even be unconscious. These types of sedation come with effects like vomiting and nausea. Therefore, they must only be used by dentists with experience in administering these sedations.
In addition to using sleep dentistry to calm your anxiety, here are other tips you can apply to help you get the care you need.
- Speak with the dentist about the anxiety. They will provide tricks to overcome the fear.
- Listen to calming music or bring something you love to keep you comfortable.
- Try relaxation methods like visualization and deep breathing. They will help you stay calm.
- Ask the dentist to give you a topical anesthesia to lessen the pain.
- Look away during the procedure to avoid being anxious.
Sleep dentistry is an effective method that dentist used for patients with dental anxiety. It is used in various treatments from simple ones like cleanings and small fillings to complex ones like root canal, and surgeries.