When you are anxious about dentistry, everything seems scary. You do not trust anything dental and want to run away when anyone mentions a dentist. Many Australians experience this situation at some point in their lives. It is known as dental anxiety and can lead to a phobia. It is common for kids, but even adults are not immune to it.
On the bright side, dentists can help you come out of this situation. Dentists for the anxious practice treatment methods that can significantly help them overcome their dental anxiety. One of the best ways to deal with dental anxiety is to go for sleep dentistry.
Sleep dentistry involves sedating a patient before performing any dental procedure to make sure the patient is comfortable. It allows to provide a virtually painless experience to all patients and helps to encourage the anxious to take care of their dental health.
Using sleep dentistry, all dental treatments become more comfortable to perform. For example, when you need to go for dental implants, you might find it easy to relax after sedation. The dental treatment experience becomes soothing and less traumatising for patients.
Sleep dentistry is an excellent way to get rid of your dental anxiety.
The types of sleep dentistry are:
1. General anaesthesia
This is the most profound form of sedation that can be used. Patients can comfortably sleep throughout their dental procedure and have no clue of what is going on. It is recommended for major dental works that require longer durations of treatments. A qualified and experienced anaesthetic administers the dose of general anaesthesia to a patient and will be present during the whole dental procedure.
Sleep dentistry using general anaesthesia does not require hospitalisation. It can be performed at a dentist’s clinic if it has all the equipment and facilities available. Otherwise, the sleep dentist may also ask to carry out this process at a hospital or day-care centre.
2. IV sedation
Intravenous sedation is a more controlled way of sedating an anxious patient. The flow of sedatives can be monitored through the dental procedure and can be increased or decreased based on the patient’s requirements. It produces a light tingling sensation and allows patients to lay relaxed during dental work.
It is also known as twilight sedation because of the tingling sensation that it produces. Anyone who is not afraid of needles can consider this method of sedation.
3. Oral sedation
Dentists might also give you sedative pills to help you lose anxiety. It can be used for quicker dental work. Oral sedation is the easiest way to sedate an anxious patient. The choice of sedative content is based on the patient’s medical history. Every patient has a different reaction to sedatives. Some might sleep sound with just a small dose of sedatives, while others might need more substantial dosages to relax.
4. Sedation via inhalation
A joystick-like device known as a green stick is quite popular for sedating patients. You can keep it in your hands and inhale it at your convenience during the dental work. This produces mild sedation in patients with a 0.5% anti-anxiety medication. People with needle phobia might find it very useful.
The effects of this sedation last for about 10-45 minutes, and patients can drive home right after their dental procedure. It is also suitable for those who are nervous but also would not like the idea of being completely asleep. This method also helps anxious patients to feel in-charge of their sedation, which adds to the medication to keep their anxiety at bay.
5. Happy gas/nitrous oxide
As the name suggests, nitrous oxide can produce a euphoric feeling in anxious dental patients. Happy gas is administered along with oxygen to the patients using a nose-piece. Dentists for the nervous perform the dental job when the patients are completely relaxed.
It can also be used for children above 12 years of age who can even tolerate a mask over their nose. This form of sedation is helpful for those who fear needles and do not have any respiratory issues. Patients with terminal diseases, hay fever or severe cold may also not be the idle candidates for happy gas sedation.
Using all the above sedation methods, dentists for the anxious can provide all dental services without discomforting the patient. Consult a dentist before selecting the right form of sedation for you. What works for one patient might work differently or not at all for another patient.
Our dentists at Healthy Smiles Dental Group have been providing sedation dentistry services for the anxious over the years in Melbourne. To know whether you are the right candidate for any of these sleep dentistry methods, please feel free to consult our dentists during work hours. Visit us at our Blackburn clinic or call us on 03 9877 2035 to book an appointment.