Sedation for Dental Fear and Dental Anxiety
Do you have a fear of the dentist? Many people experience anxiety while sitting in the dentist’s chair or even face panic attacks at the thought of going to the dentist. In fact, about 5-10% of the adult population suffers from an extreme version of this kind of fear, known as dental phobia.
Others can tolerate regular dentist check-up visits, but for more special procedures that sometimes result in pain for most people, the idea of sitting in the dentist’s chair is daunting.
Dental sedation to help minimize or completely eliminate dental anxiety, dental fear or pain at the dentist is a common process for many patients. But different types of sedation exist for different circumstances, people and dentist procedures—and many people wonder if sedation is worth it and if it really works.
The dental professionals at Clayburn Dental in Abbotsford are highly trained and knowledgeable about dental sedation and applying different sedatives for our patients. Learn about the different types of sedation available to help you reduce pain and anxiety while visiting your Abbotsford dentist.
What is Dental Sedation?
Sedation dentistry is the process of using various kinds of medications to either help you relax, feel little or no pain or to put you asleep while visiting the dentist. Sometimes known as “sleep dentistry”—this term is misleading since not all forms of sedation dentistry involve putting the patient into an unconscious state.
What are the Different Types of Dental Sedations?
Often known as simply “freezing,” local anesthesia is the most common and basic form of sedation dentistry with little risk. It involves isolating the part of your mouth that requires a pain medication and applying the selected aesthetic medication to that area.
Most local anesthetics are topical for minor pain relief or can involve a needle for procedures that result in intermediate levels of pain. The pain medication applied by needles usually comes into effect in a matter of seconds, so the pain of the needle is very short-lived.
Inhaled Minimal Sedation or Nitrous Oxide
Nitrous oxide is a gas that is mildly inhaled before and during certain dental procedures to bring a general sense of relaxation and to help reduce pain at the dentist. It is an ideal option for people who express anxiety and want to feel comfortable while sitting in the dentist’s chair. Nitrous oxide is also appropriate for children who are afraid of the dentist or who have trouble sitting still.
Inhaled-sedation dentistry, when done in small doses, often is also conducive for driving home after a trip to the dentist.
Some anxiety pills can be consumed orally, usually an hour before the dental procedure, to significantly reduce both pain and fear for a trip to the dentist. Most dentists use Triazolam (originally known as Halcion), a member of the same family of drugs as Diazepam (originally marketed as Valium).
Triazolam produces drowziness but does not fully put you to sleep, so it carries less risk than general anesthesia. It creates a deep sense of relaxation with amnesiac effect; therefore Abbotsford dentist patients who take oral sedation experience very little or no pain and anxiety.
IV Sedation (Intravenous Sedation)
IV dental sedation involves putting you into a semi-conscious state through an intravenous needle to help you feel relaxed.
Many Abbotsford dental patients seek this type of sedative relaxation at Clayburn Dental. It places you in a semi-sleep mode where you’re still slightly awake but not conscious enough to feel much pain while at the dentist. It is handy for longer and complex dental procedures so that you don’t feel any discomfort while at the dentist.
General Anesthesia (Unconscious Sedation)
For Abbotsford dental patients who require very lengthy and invasive dental procedures or who experience severe levels of dental phobia and dental anxiety, general anesthesia may be an appropriate option.
Sometimes referred to as “deep sedation” since it puts you fully to sleep, because of your unconscious state, you feel absolutely no pain—or anything at all—while sitting in the dentist’s chair.
Does Dental Sedation Work and is Sedation Right for Me?
Sedation dentistry is a proven way of reducing fear, anxiety and pain while visiting Clayburn Dental. Your Abbotsford sedation dentists at Clayburn are registered to administer and monitor sedatives with the College Dental Surgeons of B.C. Of course, there is always risk, but it is generally a very safe and often nonintrusive way to help you get on your way to a perfect smile.
Sedation dentistry is right for people with dental phobia or severe dental anxiety, have a low tolerance for pain, sensitive teeth, high gag reflexes and/or need to undergo a serious and potentially painful dental procedure.
Always talk to your Abbotsford dentist about whether or not sedation is right for you. Those who are obsess, or have severe sleeping problems or other medical conditions should consult their doctors. Always disclose your medical history to Clayburn Dental before while enquiring about dental sedation so we can make safe recommendations to you.
Call us today at 604-852-8487 or request an appointment online and learn how we can help you feel relaxed while visiting the dentist.