If you experience fear and anxiety every time you visit the dentist, you may find yourself avoiding your dental appointments. Since proper preventive care and restorative treatments are necessary to maintain good oral health, avoiding your appointments could result in tooth loss or the need for more extensive dental treatments.
Many people develop a fear of the dentist during childhood. They may have heard frightening stories of dental procedures or had a difficult dental experience. If the fear is not resolved, the anxiety associated with dental procedures may continue into adulthood.
During dental visits, people with dental fears may experience typical signs of extreme fear or anxiety, such as heavy breathing, elevated blood pressure, sweating, rapid heart rate, and nervousness. To help minimize these symptoms and help patients feel more comfortable, a dentist may offer sedation.
Here is a bit of information about dental sedation and what you can expect.
You Are Not Unconscious During Dental Sedation
Unlike general anesthesia, dental sedation does not render you unconscious. Instead, it relaxes you. Still, the relaxation that you experience may cause you to drift off to sleep or take a brief nap during your visit. Additionally, you may be unable to recall the details of your dental procedure.
This controlled memory loss can be quite beneficial to people whose memories contribute to their dental fears. The amnesia does not extend beyond the sedation period.
You May Be Able to Take Sedation Medication Before Your Appointment
If your dentist prescribes an oral sedative, you may not need to wait until you reach the office to take your medication. You will likely be asked to take your medicine at least 30 minutes prior to your appointment. This early ingestion helps ensure that you are properly sedated by the time your appointment begins.
If you are advised to take an oral sedative, be sure to have someone else drive you to and from your appointment.
Laughing Gas Is an Option
If you receive your sedation at the dentist's office, you may be offered laughing gas. The gaseous substance, which is actually comprised of nitrous oxide, is administered through inhalation. The dentist may ask you to take deep breaths as the gas flows through a mask that is placed over your nose and mouth.
The gas acts instantly so your dental procedure can begin without delay. You may feel euphoric and relaxed after inhaling the gas.
For more information about dental sedatives, schedule a consultation with a dentist at a clinic such as Summit Oral Surgery.