The fear of going to the dentist isn’t new or unique. It’s understandable why someone would be wary of lying down and allowing someone else to work on their mouths. In fact, roughly 30% of people live with fear of going to the dentist, also known as “dental phobia.” As understandable as this is, fear or apprehension of dentist visits can put a person’s oral health at risk.
Our team of dental providers at Expressions In Dentistry in Folsom, California, understand that trips to the dentist can be daunting. We’ve taken the extra step to protect our patients from their fears by offering sedation dentistry, which keeps you calm while we take care of your oral health needs. Sedation dentistry may be necessary for other reasons, and your provider will guide you through your options.
What is sedation dentistry?
Imagine arriving for your appointment with your provider, completely relaxing through the entire procedure, and then heading home with a fresh smile. Sedation dentistry is a safe, closely regulated way to provide effective care to anyone who has difficulty at the dentist. Before we offer any sedation options, however, we require a consultation for each patient. These consultations cover your general medical history and your oral health history.
After your provider evaluates you, they’ll tell you if you are a candidate for sedation dentistry and what your options are for sedation. We typically offer nitrous oxide, an odorless gas, to patients who are good candidates for sedation dentistry. Nitrous oxide is administered to you through a gas mask and flushed with pure oxygen at the end of your procedure.
We also offer IV conscious sedation, which involves a strictly controlled intravenous drip delivered directly to your bloodstream. Though both the nitrous oxide and the IV drip are available, your provider determines what’s best for you and your medical needs. Although either option deeply relaxes you, neither fully puts you to sleep. With IV sedation, you will be required to arrange a ride to and from your appointment.
What procedures can be performed while I’m sedated?
Sedation dentistry isn’t just for those of us who get nervous at the dentists; some procedures require that a patient is sedated. Extensive procedures,third molar extractions, will require sedation dentistry. If you need more than one root canal, you might be a candidate for sedation dentistry.
People with special needs could also benefit from sedation dentistry. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry defines special needs as any physical, cognitive, sensory, mental, emotional, or behavioral impairment that requires daily medical management, as well as special or interventional services.
Individuals with special needs could be living with Alzheimer’s, autism, Down syndrome, ADHD, or a number of other conditions. If you or a loved one has one of these conditions, you or they may be a candidate for sedation dentistry. Using one of our calming methods during your procedure will ensure that you have a pleasant experience, free of anxiety or discomfort.
What will my recovery be like?
For more extensive procedures, it’s possible that you’ll experience discomfort as you’re healing. Fortunately, your provider at Expressions in Dentistry will be ready with recommendations for medication, if necessary. For minor procedures, you may be referred to an over-the-counter pain reliever. For major procedures, your provider will discuss additional medications as part of your aftercare plan.
Dental anxiety still tops the list for reasons that many people avoid their dentist. For everyone, including these individuals, semi-annual cleanings and regular check-ups are still the best way to prevent major oral health issues down the line. If you’re ready for an easier trip to the dentist, contact Expressions in Dentistry today at 916-252-9186, or book an appointment with us online.