If dental anxiety or other discomfort makes your dental visits unpleasant, sedation dentistry can help. Most people–perhaps 80% of Americans–experience some degree of dental anxiety, but it’s not always a concern. However, if your anxiety or discomfort keeps you from getting wanted or needed dental care, it’s time to consider options like sedation dentistry. Sedation dentistry can help you feel comfortable and relaxed at the dentist, improving your experience.
How Sedation Dentistry Can Help
Sedation dentistry can help you relax during a dental visit. This can help you have a more pleasant experience at the dentist, allowing you to overcome problems like:
- Dental anxiety
- Difficulty getting numb
- Strong gag reflex
- Sore jaw, neck, or back
- Difficulty sitting still
- Needing many procedures at once
Sedation dentistry can help you achieve a calm, relaxed state so that you don’t experience dental anxiety. It’s sometimes called sleep dentistry, although you don’t usually sleep when using sedation.
Many people with minor dental anxiety don’t realize their symptoms are caused by anxiety. People who have trouble getting numb are often burning through anesthesia because they are anxious. Anxiety can also make people very aware of objects in their mouth, increasing the severity of the gag reflex. And anxiety can make people tense up, which makes their jaw, neck, or back sore after a dental appointment. It’s also hard to sit still for treatment when you’re anxious.
Sedation dentistry can also help make dental appointments more convenient. If you need several dental procedures and don’t want to have to make multiple visits, sedation dentistry can make it easier for you to sit still during your treatment.
Oral sedation is a simple but effective approach to sedation dentistry. In this form of sedation, you are given a prescription for an oral sedative. Typically, you will take one pill a short time before coming to the office, but sometimes you will take the pill once you are at the office. Either way, you need a responsible adult to take you to and from your appointment. If you have difficulty sleeping the night before an appointment, an additional pill can be prescribed to help you sleep.
Oral sedation is known as conscious sedation. You are awake and you can hear all that’s going on around you, even respond to commands. But you’ll feel relaxed and unconcerned about your procedure.
Oral sedation is simple and safe, but it is limited because it’s hard to extend sedation if your procedure doesn’t go as planned. Dr. Morrell is certified in oral sedation and has considerable experience, so this is rarely a problem, just a consideration.
IV sedation introduces sedative directly into your bloodstream. This can help you get sedated faster, and it allows us to extend sedation as long as necessary to complete your procedure. We can put you into a deeper sedation, where you may be at the edge of sleep and less aware of what’s going on around you.
IV sedation is ideal for people with high levels of dental anxiety and those that need complex procedures that can take a long time or may have an uncertain length.
Few dentists can provide IV sedation. Dentists need special training to be allowed to use this type of sedation, and it requires special equipment at the office. However, we can provide IV sedation because of the special training and equipment of Dr. Kendall.
Not sure what type of sedation dentistry is right for you? Please call (907) 274-7691 today for an appointment with a sedation dentist at Denali Dental Care in Anchorage.