You probably already know how important it is to maintain a proper oral hygiene routine. You brush your teeth twice a day and floss every day. However, at home oral care is not enough to maintain the health of your mouth. To maintain optimal oral health, dental visits for cleaning, exams, and treatment for specific issues are required. However, for many people, going to the dentist isn’t that easy. Experiencing anxiety and fear over going to the dentist is a common issue. To avoid these feelings, many people avoid dental care. Ignoring even general dental care can lead to serious oral health issues that can require more invasive (and costly) treatments. At Crossroads Family Dental, we can help you to manage your dental anxieties with sedation dentistry.
Why use sedation?
Fear and anxiety over going to the dentist, even for a routine cleaning and exam, can keep many people from receiving the treatment that they need. Ignoring this care, or ignoring the signs of an oral health issue, can quickly result in more serious problems that require more involved treatments. The longer oral health issues go untreated, the more serious they become. They can eventually lead to infections, tooth loss, and health issues like heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. With sedation dentistry, you can more comfortably get the treatments you need, allowing you to maintain the health of your mouth and prevent serious issues from ever occurring. Other reasons for sedation include:
• Gag reflex.
• Trouble sitting still, even for short periods of time.
• Low pain threshold.
Nitrous oxide, which is more frequently referred to as "laughing gas" is the lightest form of dental sedation. With this type of minimal sedation, you remain completely conscious throughout the duration of your procedure. The nitrous oxide, which is inhaled, simply allows you to relax by taking the edge off. It also increases your pain threshold while reducing your gag reflex.
Nitrous oxide is administered through a mask that is placed over your nose. When the machine is turned on, it is mixed with oxygen. Once you begin inhaling the gas, it goes to work almost immediately. You can speak and respond to requests. Once your procedure is over, the nitrous is turned off, and the oxygen remains on for a few additional minutes. This ensures that the gas is completely out of your system. The effects wear off quickly, and you are even able to drive yourself home. Nitrous is ideal for those who have minor to moderate anxiety.
Oral sedation is a type of moderate conscious sedation that is administered orally. You take a prescribed medication (common types include lorazepam and diazepam) that causes you to feel drowsy, but you remain conscious throughout the procedure.
With oral sedation, you take your prescribed medication approximately an hour before your appointment time. It typically takes 30 minutes for the medication to kick in, but times vary from patient to patient. For this reason, it is important that you have someone drive you to the office. The effects of the medication also linger for several hours. You will need to have someone drive you home as well. It is important that you rest while the medication wears off. Once you begin to feel more like yourself, you can begin to resume normal activities.
Please note, that Crossroads Family Dental is not licensed to provide IV Sedation, full sedation, or general anesthesia.
If fear and anxiety are keeping you from getting the dental care that you need, conscious sedation dentistry may be right for you. For more information on sedation dentistry, contact Crossroads Family Dental at 219-865-4095.