Anxious—afraid or nervous especially about what may happen. This describes many patients’ feelings before they go to a dentist office; however, some people have “dental anxiety,” which causes them to avoid the dentist office altogether. Dental anxiety differs for each person, but some common symptoms are apparent:
- Trouble sleeping the night before a dentist appointment
- Anxiety increases at the dentist office, especially when a patient sees dental instruments or the dentist
- Feeling sick thinking about the dental exam
- Difficulty breathing while in the dental chair
These symptoms can deter patients from going to the dentist, which also hurts their oral health. To help patients relax during treatment, many dentist offices are offering sedation dentistry. At Michael Flatley, DDS, sedation dentistry is available, so patients can finally relax in the dental chair.
What is sedation dentistry?
Sedation dentistry is dentistry that provides patients with medicine that helps a patient relax and/or feel sleepy. This specific technique is called “conscious sedation,” which means the patient is awake during the treatment. In most cases, the patient won’t remember the dental experience, but he/she will be able to respond to voices and maintain his/her reflexes while under sedation. There are three common ways to administer sedation medicine:
- Nitrous Oxide – “laughing gas” is delivered via a small mask a patient inhales through
- Oral Sedation – this is medicine that is given by mouth (orally)
- IV therapy – IV stands for intravenous, which means the medicine is administered directly into the vein through
Other types of sedation techniques are general anesthesia and shots. These are performed under careful supervision.
For more information on sedation denitstry in Gig Harbor call Michael Flatley, DDS at (253) 853-4955!