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A significant number of Canadians do not visit the dentist for regular checkups because they are too fearful or suffer from dental anxiety. Sedation dentistry offers an excellent way to provide a safe, anxiety-free, dental experience to those who are afraid of the dentist.
What is Sedation Dentistry?
Sedation dentistry is often mistakenly thought to induce sleep. In fact, most sedatives allow the patient to stay awake during the procedure.
Sleepiness is a side effect of some medications, but oral conscious sedation and IV sedation only work to calm anxiety throughout the dental visit.
Sedation dentistry is popular because most sedatives can be taken by mouth, meaning no injections, no anxiety and no pain.
Some sedatives work so effectively that even the smells and details of the procedure cannot be recalled afterwards.
Whatever the form of sedative, it is essential to be accompanied by a caregiver.
Sometimes, sedatives are provided the night before the dental visit, which means that driving to or from the appointment is not advisable.
Advantages of Sedation Dentistry
- Anxiety is alleviated
- Few side effects
- More can be accomplished during each visit
- No needles
- No pain
- Perfectly safe
- Procedures seem to take less time
What kinds of sedatives are available?
At Elgin Corners Dental, we offer nitrous oxide, oral conscious sedation, and IV sedation. Different levels of sedation (mild, moderate and deep) can be utilized depending on individual needs.
What kinds of sedatives are available?
The most popular types of dental sedatives are nitrous oxide, oral conscious sedation, and IV sedation. Different levels of sedation (mild, moderate and deep) can be utilized depending on individual needs.
Dental Anxiety & Fear
The overwhelming fear of dental appointments can be a common cause of serious oral health problems.
Dental anxiety and fear can become completely overwhelming, but the fact remains that receiving regular dental check ups and cleanings is the easiest way to maintain excellent oral hygiene and reduce the need for more complex treatments.
Your comfort, relaxation and happiness are our first priority, and our staff will do whatever they can to reduce anxiety, allay fears and provide painless, quick treatments.
Talk to the dentist
The dentist is not a mind reader. Though it can be hard to talk about irrational fears with a stranger, the dentist can take extra precautions during visits if fears and anxiety are communicated.
Listen to music
Music acts as a relaxant and also drowns out any fear-producing noises. Listening to calming music throughout the appointment will help to reduce anxiety.
Agree on a signal
Many people are afraid that the dentist will not know they are in significant pain during the appointment, and will carry on the procedure regardless. The best way to solve this problem is to agree on a “stop” hand signal with the dentist. Both parties can easily understand signals like raising the hand or tapping on the chair.
Spray the throat
Throat sprays (for example, Vicks® Chloraseptic® Throat Spray) can actually control the gag reflex. Two or three sprays will usually keep the reflex under control for about an hour.
Take a mirror
Not being able to see what is happening can increase anxiety and make the imagination run wild. Watching the procedure can help keep reality at the forefront of the mind.
If there is no other way to cope, sedation offers an excellent option for many people. There are several types of sedation, but the general premise behind them is the same: the patient regains their faculties after treatment is complete.
Ask about alternatives
Advances in technology mean that dental microsurgery is now an option. Lasers can be used to prepare teeth for fillings, whiten teeth and remove staining. Discuss all the options with the dentist and decide on one that is effective and produces minimal anxiety.