Too many people avoid and miss essential dental care out of understandable anxiety over seeing the dentist. Do you experience dental fear or anxiety? Dental fear and anxiety are extremely common. Some reports suggest that as many as 50% of people experience at least some anxiety over going to the dentist. As many as 15% of people suffer anxiety so seriously that they skip dental appointments or miss out on essential dental hygiene and treatment.
Jagare Ridge Dental’s dentists in South Edmonton are committed to working with patients who experience natural and understandable dental fear and anxiety to ensure they don’t interfere with necessary treatment. How? First, by acknowledging from the very beginning of our treatment relationship that dental fear and anxiety are natural and important to talk about. The staff at Jagare Ridge Dental are not offended when a patient tells them about their fear. Rather, they respond compassionately and helpfully to those concerns.
Honest conversations about fear and anxiety are important because they give the dentist and their staff the opportunity to explain possible solutions. One available solution to dental fear and anxiety is oral sedation in South Edmonton.
What is oral sedation?
Oral sedation involves using drugs to help patients achieve whatever level of sedation is necessary to overcome fear and anxiety so as to permit the patient to achieve the care they need. There are several levels of sedation available, each provided through different techniques. Which type of sedation and technique is appropriate for you would be determined after a careful review of your medical history, level of fear, and the nature of treatment you’ll undergo. For extremely anxious patients undergoing lengthy or complex treatment, deeper levels of sedation may be more appropriate than for someone merely necessary about a routine checkup.
The types of oral sedation
There are main types of oral sedation that offer minimal, moderate, and deep sedative effects for patients who experience dental fear and anxiety. Each type of sedation can be adjusted to account for each person’s level of fear or anxiety, and the nature of the treatment they’ll receive.
Nitrous oxide (colloquially referred to as “Laughing gas”) is a gas formed from a combination of nitrous oxide and oxygen. A patient who elects nitrous oxide does so by inhaling it through their nose. Laughing gas is safe for patients of all ages and is extremely mild. The sedative effect of nitrous oxide wears off quickly.
Patients who need a stronger sedative effect that is achieved through nitrous oxide can obtain that stronger effect through oral sedation. Oral sedation is administered through a pill swallowed by the patient either the night before their appointment or just before the appointment begins. A patient who takes oral sedation will be more heavily sedated than after inhaling nitrous oxide. In both cases — after inhaling laughing gas or taking oral sedation —you’ll remain awake.
Intravenous (IV) sedation
For patients who experience the most extreme levels of fear or anxiety or who need to undergo serious or complicated dental procedures or surgeries, intravenous sedation may be the most appropriate option. IV sedation is given to you through a line injected into a vein in your arm. The trained and experienced staff at the dental clinic monitor and adjust the levels of sedation constantly and diligently throughout treatment.
If you’re curious about the availability of oral sedation near you, you should contact a dentist to explain your feelings about and experience of prior dental treatment and your past medical history. Whether necessary just to get you through some significant surgery or routine dental care to ensure your oral health, a dentist near you can provide a level of sedative effect to help you as necessary.
Over time, we hope that you and our staff will be able to work together to resolve your fear and anxiety without the need for sedative treatment. That is our goal and commitment. Until that day comes, though, we stand ready to provide whatever support is necessary to ensure that your oral health and need for dental treatment are not compromised.