Each year, an estimated 10 percent of the U.S. population purposely avoids vital dental treatment due to fear, anxiety and sometimes powerful phobias. These people are more at-risk for developing serious dental health conditions that are normally detected and treated during checkups.
Sedation dentistry provides a solution to stress, leaving the patient free of anxiety. Sedation dentistry uses carefully applied medication, which allows the patient to relax while the doctor performs treatment. In this way, multiple procedures can be performed during a single visit.
The three most common types of sedation are:
· Inhalants – Nitrous oxide, also known as laughing gas, works very quickly. Patients feel its effect within five minutes of administration and can settle into a comfortable relaxed feeling, while remaining fully awake. Most patients will have very little memory of the procedure. With a five minute dose of pure oxygen, patients can drive themselves home without lingering effects.
· Oral Sedatives – This type of medication is taken in the form of anti-anxiety pills prior to treatment. The patient remains conscious and can respond to directions and requests, but doesn’t experience any pain or distress. The patient will feel a bit groggy before and after the procedure so your dentist will request that you have someone to drive you to and from your appointment.
· Intravenous (IV) Sedatives – This sedative is administered directly into to the blood stream through a needle. It will reduce awareness and memory by inducing a “twilight sleep.” During the procedure, the patient is free of discomfort. Patients will need someone to take them home.
Benefits of Sedation Therapy
More dental care providers are offering sedation dentistry so that they can limit a serious obstacle to their patients’ oral health. Being able to eliminate any feelings of alarm, panic and fear from people who would rather suffer through tooth pain than visit a dentist is a significant step in the direction of better health.
Research has demonstrated time and again that the key to improved overall well-being is optimal oral health through regular cleanings and professional checkups. Professional dental organizations, which include the American Dental Association, have declared preventive measures, such as brushing twice a day and flossing regularly, essential in the early detection of many harmful conditions, such as oral cancers.
Located at 209 W. Pecan in Coleman, TX, Dr. Lawrence Thompson offers oral conscious sedation and nitrous oxide to his patients. If you are seeking a dentist who is focused on patient needs and who can effectively ease the fear associated with visiting the dentist, contact his office today.