Someone mentions it’s time to go to the dentist. That’s when it starts. Your pulse quickens. Your palms sweat. All of a sudden you remember 1000 other things you can’t put off a day longer, so the dentist will have to wait. Sound familiar? If you rather do every chore you’ve put off for months than go to the dentist, then you likely suffer from dental anxiety.
An easy solution for fearful dental patients is to see a sedation dentist. But, there are some considerations to make before choosing.
What Level of Dental Sedation is Right For You?
Most dentists do two different levels of sedation, though some will also add I.V. Sedation. The lower level, nitrous oxide is the easiest. It’s sometimes called laughing gas. It’s useful for those with mild anxiety. It puts them at ease and allows the anesthetic to do its job. The biggest benefit to this is once your procedure is done, they simply switch the gas to oxygen and you’re good to go home on your own.
Those with more extensive anxiety have better success with oral conscious sedation. This is a pill you’ll take before your appointment. It relaxes you so much that you’ll need someone to drive you to and from your appointment. You’ll feel a tad goofy, but you’ll certainly be happy. Some patients call this sleep dentistry because you’re able to sleep through your entire appointment.
Not every dentist offers oral conscious sedation, so if you have severe anxiety, you’ll need to make sure this is available to you.
Make Sure the Sedation Dentist has Specialized Training
Especially when it comes to things such as oral conscious sedation, your dentist needs to be trained in the administration of these medications and what emergency procedures to know. Ask about their sedation certification to make sure you’re in safe hands.
Your Sedation Dentist Must do a Consultation
Any legitimate sedation dentist will do a consultation with you ahead of time. Here they’ll go over your medical history. It’s important you tell them about all medications you’re taking, including over-the-counter. This way they can ensure you won’t receive anything that would interfere with what you’re currently using.
Check Their Expertise is in the Dental Area You Need
Each dentist has areas they excel at and treat. If you need a dentist who’s familiar with TMJ, make sure your sedation dentist has significant TMJ training. Alternately, if you’re after a smile makeover, be sure you’re dealing with an accredited cosmetic dentist. Otherwise. you could end up with a cosmetic dentistry horror story. There are many.
Follow these simple tips and you’ll have a lifetime of anxiety-free dental care.
This blog is brought to you by Grosse Pointe Woods Dentist Dr. Theodore Hadgis.