Does the idea of going to the dentist’s office fill you with anxiety? If so, you’re not alone. In fact, as many as one out of every five adults in the United States deals with a fear of the dentist. Because dental fear is so common, sedation dentistry has become a popular method of helping nervous patients relax in the treatment chair. Are you curious about how sedation works and whether it’s right for you? Keep reading as we answer four of the most frequently asked questions about sedation dentistry in Washington, PA!
What Is Sedation Dentistry?
Many dental procedures involve the use of local anesthesia, which numbs the area your dentist will be working on. However, it doesn’t address dental anxiety. That’s where sedation comes in. Sedation dentistry utilizes safe, non-habit-forming medicines to help patients calm their nerves and make it much smoother to administer the care that a patient’s smile needs.
What Are the Different Types of Sedation Dentistry?
Dental sedation comes in many varieties, but your dentist in Washington, PA offers:
- Oral conscious sedation – You’ll take a prescribed anti-anxiety pill before your procedure is scheduled to begin. Once the sedative kicks in, you’ll feel deeply relaxed yet still awake enough to respond to your dentist’s requests during your treatment. Your memory of the appointment will probably be fuzzy, and the effects will probably last all day.
- IV sedation – For lengthier or more complex procedures, a sedative can be delivered directly into the bloodstream and adjusted at any point. IV sedation is even more potent than oral conscious sedation, causing many patients to briefly doze off during their procedures.
What Are the Benefits of Sedation Dentistry?
The primary benefit of sedation dentistry is helping patients with dental anxiety obtain the treatments they need without fear. However, it also comes with other benefits, including:
- Reducing the brain’s ability to register pain, which can be ideal for patients who have trouble getting numb with local anesthesia alone.
- Suppressing the gag reflex.
- Helping patients complete time-consuming or complex procedures with ease.
- Assisting patients who have difficulty sitting still for extended periods of time.
Am I a Good Candidate for Sedation Dentistry?
As beneficial as sedation dentistry can be in a variety of circumstances, it’s unfortunately not right for everyone. Your dentist will need to evaluate your eligibility for sedation beforehand just to ensure your safety. You probably won’t be a good candidate if you are currently pregnant or have breathing problems or allergies to specific medications. However, sedation dentistry is a viable option for the majority of patients.
If anxiety or fear has ever kept you from completing any necessary dental treatments, then consider asking your dentist about their sedation options. It could be just the thing your smile needs!
About the Author
As an experienced sedation dentist in Washington, PA, Dr. Barry Bartusiak has helped countless patients conquer their dental fears. In addition to earning Fellowship status with the Academy of General Dentistry, he has completed more than 2500 hours of continuing education and has taught over 500 lectures on dentistry across the U.S. and Canada. At Bartusiak Dental Care of Washington, he offers oral conscious sedation and IV sedation, and you can find out more by contacting his office at 878-218-7044.