Calm Your Dentist Chair Jitters with Sedation Dentistry

About 60% of Americans avoid going to the dentist due to dental anxiety, so if you’re afraid of the dentist, you’re not alone. But, you’re also not getting adequate dental care, which is a critical component of overall health.

Luckily, there are ways to ease your dental anxiety, and one of the most effective and popular is sedation dentistry. Whether you need your teeth cleaned, or you’re procrastinating about having a more involved procedure, sedation can help you relax.

Levels and types of sedation

There are four levels of sedation:

As you might expect, you’re fully conscious under minimal sedation. Moderate sedation is enough that you may not remember much of the procedure, but you’re conscious. You can be awakened during deep sedation, but not when you’re under general anesthesia.

The medications that cause sedation can be inhaled, given orally, or administered through an IV. Your dentist may decide to use nitrous oxide, which is inhaled and produces minimal sedation, or they may prescribe oral sedation, which you take in the form of a pill.

The type of medication and the dose you’re given determine whether you’re under minimal or moderate sedation. Oral sedation is often taken about an hour prior to your procedure and is one of the most common methods dentists use in sedation dentistry.

Moderate sedation may also be reached with mediation administered through an IV. It works more quickly than oral sedation and it gives the dentist more control, because they can adjust your dosage throughout the procedure.

For more complex procedures, your dentist may recommend deep sedation or even general anesthesia. Both deep sedation and general anesthesia produce unconsciousness or deep sleep. General anesthesia must either wear off or be reversed with different medications.

Safety is important

Your safety is always our primary concern at Roach Family Dentistry. Sedation dentistry is considered a safe way for people with dental anxiety to get the care they need.

Inhaled sedation is safe for nearly everyone, including children, and moderate sedation is also quite safe.

In order to administer deep sedation or general anesthesia, dentists must complete rigorous training. Dr. Yezerski has completed this training and is certified to perform general anesthesia. If you’re undergoing deep sedation, a minimum of four staff members will remain with you in order to make sure you’re completely safe.

Additional anxiety-busters

Even knowing that you’ll be under sedation during your procedure, you may still feel nervous about your visit. There are a few things that may help.

First, talk to your dentist about your anxiety. Our staff understands, and is prepared to help you manage your fears.

Consider distraction. You may want to listen to soothing music before and during your appointment. Some patients enjoy podcasts or audiobooks.

Another technique is to focus on breathing. When you’re tense and anxious, you’re breath is often shallow and fast. Pay attention to taking slow, deep breaths to increase the amount of oxygen in your blood. You may be surprised at how well it works!

One of the most important factors in lowering your level of dental anxiety is trusting your dentist. At Roach Family Dentistry, we work hard to build a relationship with you, so you can trust us with your dental health.

If you’d like to learn more about sedation dentistry and how to ease dental anxiety, book an appointment online or by phone. We’re happy to help!

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