Dental Sedation to Reduce Anxiety
Many patients experience some anxiety when visiting a dentist office or when undergoing dental procedures. For some individuals, heading to the dentist can elicit nervousness and apprehension. These feelings of anxiety often lead that person to find any excuse not to follow through on their appointment. Unfortunately, these individuals may completely avoid procedures even when suffering from significant pain or infection.
Anxiolysis sedation, a form of oral sedation, can help. It is a light sedative, such as valium, that is ideal for people suffering from mild to moderate anxiety. For additional information on anxiolysis, IV sedation, and dental anxiety, continue reading below.
What Are the Symptoms of Dental Anxiety?
Everyone deals with worry and anxiety differently. Symptoms of dental anxiety vary from each person, but there are general indications, including:
- Feeling nauseous when thinking of going to the dentist
- Sleepless nights before a dental appointment
- Crying or nervousness while in the waiting room
Additional symptoms of anxiety include panic or shortened breath when sitting in the chair and increased worry or fear at the sight of oral instruments and dental professionals.
Types of Dental Sedation
As mentioned above, anxiolysis involves a light sedative, and it can transform a terrifying experience into a relaxing one. Therefore, before any treatment at the dentist, you can receive anxiolysis sedation. During the procedure, patients are required to remain conscious, but any tension and anxiety will fade away. The advantage of this form of sedation is that individuals can breathe, talk, and also operate a vehicle after receiving it. Anxiolysis does not impair actions.
For anybody with moderate to severe dental anxiety, IV sedation may be ideal. It is a very safe, easy to administer, and effective medication that is quickly delivered straight into the bloodstream. Similar to anxiolysis, IV sedation is administered while the patient is awake. As it seeps into the bloodstream, a heightened state of relaxation is achieved.
The advantage of this form of dental sedation is that your heart rate, breathing, and the amount of medicine received is monitored. Therefore, the dose can be adjusted to ensure comfort and safety.
As a precaution and to assist with any pain, a local anesthetic is applied in advance to the area needing dental work. IV sedation is generally used when a dental procedure is lengthy and requires extensive steps. The benefit to IV sedation is that once it is received, individuals will most likely not recall the process, so their fear will not be heightened.
What to Expect from IV Sedation
IV sedation does not completely subdue patients. Instead, they are placed in a “twilight sleep” in which total consciousness is not lost. Although in a deep sleep, patients are still partially responsive to light touches. This “semi-awake” state makes individuals more relaxed and limits the feeling of anxiety associated with dental procedures.
Sedation Dentistry Side Effects
Similar to any drug, there can be side effects with sedation dentistry. However, these secondary symptoms are rarely significant enough to require further medical attention. Side effects may include dizziness, nausea, headaches, or dry mouth. It is important to note that everyone is different and may respond uniquely to the treatment administered. Hence, patients are advised to be aware of their side effects.
Sedation vs. Anesthesia
There is a distinctive difference between general anesthesia and sedation. With general anesthesia, the patient is entirely asleep and cannot be easily awakened. This form of sedation requires the expertise of an anesthesiologist to monitor all vital signs and ensure that the patient is responding well to the sedation. This medical professional must be present to make sure that no complications arise during the procedure.
Though the individual administering your sedation is highly trained, the procedure does not require a specialist. Sedation is also less dangerous than general anesthesia. Although asleep, the patient can respond to questions or commands.
Dental Sedation Cost
Sedation dentistry is more complex than typical dentistry. Therefore, there are additional costs associated with it. For those seeking this form of dentistry, the price varies depending on the form of sedation chosen and the procedure. Treatment can range from a few hundred dollars to over a thousand.
Elite Dental Care Offers Dental Sedation
Dental anxiety is real, and many people suffer from this condition. If you or someone close to you requires dental care but is severely afraid of the process, contact us. We offer sedation dentistry which can be effective in helping you to receive the dental work you need.
Finally, there’s a dentist you enjoy visiting. Dr. Bita Zavari specializes in cosmetic dentistry, Invisalign, and sleep apnea treatment and she brings a level of care, newest technology, and continuing education unlike any dentist in Beaverton and SW Portland. Elite Dental Care is known for our spa-inspired experience, with welcoming staff, patient entertainment, and state-of-the-art technology. We are conveniently located near Cedar Hills.