Of all the health professionals feared most by adults, the dentist is at the top of the list. Dental Anxiety (DA) is the actual diagnosis for this fear and adults everywhere have it. Dental professionals everywhere have been busy making huge strides in order to calm those fears. Some are turning their dental offices into more of a spa feel than a dental one. Aromatherapy, soothing music, weighed blankets – if you can think of a soothing way to relax, chances are your dental professional has it. And if you still need “something stronger”, there’s sedation dentistry.
Sedation dentistry is the way your dentist relaxes you enough to handle the dental procedure through the use of medication, in addition to the numbing agent applied to the area that will be worked on to alleviate any pain caused by the procedure. The use of sedation is to make you as comfortable as possible as they do their job and to make recovery time minimal.
If you don’t need much to relax you, chances are you will receive nitrous oxide, or laughing gas. It is given to you as you breathe through a mask, so zero pain or needles are involved. If you need to be calmed with more than a little gas, the next step up is an oral sedative so no pain or needles are involved to make a patient groggy, but you will be awake during the procedure. IV sedation takes affect a lot quicker, but the dentist also has the ability to adjust the amount as needed. Administered by medications prior to your procedure, deeper sedation methods will render you unconscious and unable to be awakened easily.
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