Very few people would say that they enjoy going to the dentist or look forward to going to the dentist, but there are some people who are truly afraid of the dentist. For some, a visit to the dentist creates such overwhelming anxiety and fear that they cannot go. Unfortunately, without regular dental care, their oral hygiene can deteriorate significantly and they can lose teeth and suffer from oral diseases, like gingivitis.
These are the types of patients who can most benefit from the help of a sedation dentist. While you don’t need to have an extreme phobia to visit a sedation dentist, it is good to know that sedation is an option if you feel like it would benefit you. A sedation dentist can help fearful or anxious patients get the dental care they really need.
Your sedation dentist will discuss what level of sedation is right for your situation. Here are the most common options:
- Deep sedation is recommended for patients who don’t want to remember much about the procedures. This method uses an IV medication to put patients into a relaxed state. While they remain conscious throughout the procedure, they won’t remember much later.
- Moderate sedation uses an oral pill to help a patient be relaxed and drowsy during a procedure.
- Mild sedation uses “laughing gas” (nitrous oxide) to create a relaxed state that requires very little recovery time.
Fear is not the only reason to visit a sedation dentist. If you have significant amount of dental work that needs to be done at once, or if you have a sensitive gag reflex, a painful or sensitive tooth, or find it hard to sit through a long procedure, sedation dentistry may help you get the dental care you need.