Some people are nervous about going to the dentist while a few others are terrified. In nearly all cases, this is the result of socialization and stereotypes about dentistry that are simply not true. Some people have had genuinely unfortunate or painful experiences at the dentist. Whatever the case may be, the anxiety is real. If you are one of the people who is anxious or fearful about going to the dentist, you need to find ways to account for that. Simply not going to the dentist is going to make things worse. When you avoid the dentist, you will often miss early warning signs of dental problems. You’ll only notice them when the problem gets to be very painful. That leads to more invasive procedures. If you find the problem early, it can often be fixed quickly.
What is Sedation Dentistry?
Sedation dentistry is something of a misnomer. The dentist or another anesthetist will administer an anesthetic that will usually not quite put you to sleep; so, it is sedation but not what many people think of. Some people will fall asleep under the anesthetic, whereas others will just be relaxed and drowsy. Once you’re in that state, the dental team will perform their normal duties without increasing your anxiety or fear. If you are nervous about going to the dentist for even a general cleaning, sedation dentistry may be the right answer.
There are a few concerns for certain people. If you are obese or have obstructive sleep apnea, you might not be eligible for sedation dentistry. Those who are obese or have apnea are more likely to experience complications while under sedation. However, there are several levels of sedation, and one of the lower levels might still be appropriate. The lowest level is typically done with nitrous oxide or “laughing gas.” You’ll be conscious but relaxed. Conscious sedation involves slurring your words and drowsiness but you’re still awake. Deep sedation means you’re awake but only barely. Your dentist will explain all your options in detail and help you pick the right level of sedation for you.
Is sedation dentistry right for you? Call Meridian family dentist Greg Steiner’s office today to schedule an appointment. His staff will be able to answer all your questions and help you decide.