Dental fear or anxiety refers to the distressing or uneasy emotions triggered by dental tools, sounds, or the dental office environment. Surprisingly, around 36% of Americans experience fear when it comes to dental treatments, making it challenging for them to access the necessary care for maintaining good oral health. Thankfully, dental sedation offers a solution for both fearful patients and those who struggle with spending prolonged periods in the dental chair. However, there is a considerable amount of misinformation surrounding this dental practice. Continue reading as we dispel three common myths about dental sedation.
Myth 1: There Is Only One Kind of Dental Sedation
Contrary to the common belief that there is only a single type of dental sedation, it is important to note that there are actually several different options available, which include:
- Nitrous Oxide – Commonly referred to as “laughing gas,” this type of sedation is administered through a mask positioned over the patient’s nose. It takes effect within a few minutes, inducing feelings of relaxation and warmth. After the procedure, the patient will receive pure oxygen for five minutes to clear any remaining nitrous oxide from their system.
- Oral conscious sedation – This method utilizes oral medication in the form of a pill to induce a state of tranquility and relaxation during dental treatments. Your dentist will provide you with specific instructions on when to take the medication prior to your appointment. Following the procedure, it is important to arrange for a friend or family member to drive you home, as it will take some time for the effects of the medication to diminish.
- IV Sedation – Through the use of this sedation technique, a sedative is directly delivered into the patient’s bloodstream via an intravenous (IV) line. IV sedation takes effect rapidly, while still allowing the patient to remain conscious during the dental treatment. This enables easy communication between the patient and their procedure. Typically, patients have minimal to no recollection of their visit because of the sedation.
Myth 2: Anyone Can Be Sedated
While dental sedation is generally safe for many patients, it is important to note that it may not be suitable for everyone. There are specific groups of people who should avoid undergoing dental sedation, which include:
- Pregnant individuals, as sedative medications can impact fetal development
- Concurrent use of bleeding risk-increasing medications, such as aspirin
- Allergies or contraindications to the sedation medication
- Medical conditions that may affect sedation efficacy
- Have a history of bleeding disorders
Myth 3: Sedation Is Reserved for Complex Procedures
Dental sedation is frequently used during elaborate dental procedures, its applicability extends beyond such cases. It can also be advantageous for:
- Individuals who experience difficulty lying in the dental chair for extended durations
- Individuals who struggle with prolonged periods of sitting still
- Patients with dental treatment-related fear or anxiety
- Individuals with trypanophobia (fear of needles)
- Procedures expected to last a while
About the Practice
Dr. Neil Dean heads the expert team at KidSmiles Dental & Orthodontics, dedicated to ensuring your child maintains healthy and radiant teeth. With a focus on pediatric dental care, Dr. Dean offers dental sedation to help patients feel more at ease during treatments. Moreover, the clinic provides valuable information to dispel dental sedation myths, ensuring your comfort and readiness for your procedure. Contact KidSmiles Dental & Orthodontics at (972) 884-5450 or visit their website to learn more or to schedule an appointment.