A visit to the dentist produces severe anxiety for many patients. For years nitrous oxide (laughing gas) was about the only option to calm heightened nerves for patients preparing to undergo dental treatment. Today many dentists provide sedation dentistry as an option for severely anxious patients as well as those who cannot sit or recline for extended periods or those dealing with physical or mental limitations.
Patients using sedation dentistry have the assurances of safety and comfort. However, they too are responsible for following the directions given for a positive outcome.
Sedation dentistry to relieve anxiety puts the individual in a state of total relaxation. A sedative is administered at home about one hour before the scheduled dental appointment. Upon arrival at the office, the patient is given additional medication.
Vital signs are continually monitored, and the patient is attended to by a board certified dentist and his trained assistant. This assures the patient that all measures have been taken for their safety.
The procedure may be as simple as a cleaning or something more extensive. The beauty of this type of sedation is although the patient is conscious, they feel like they slept during treatment. There is little, if any, memory of their appointment. They may have received some type of numbing agent to relieve any discomfort.
Sedation dentistry is not only for the comfort of the patient. The dentist and his staff are allowed to work efficiently knowing their patient is totally at ease. Treatment is thorough and done well without worrying about how the patient’s anxiety level is faring.
The patient must have reliable transportation both to and from their appointment. And since the patient will be a little groggy for the remainder of the day, they are advised to go home to rest. Having someone to stay over for a few hours upon returning home is advised.
Severe anxiety over going to the dentist can lead patients to avoid appointments for years. The result can be dental decay, gum disease, and/or lost teeth. There are alternative solutions, and the use of sedation dentistry can mean healthy teeth and gums to enjoy for life.
To learn more about your sedation options, contact our team at Richardson Dentistry. Call (972) 218-0078 today to schedule your visit.