Sedation Dentistry for Dental Anxiety
According to a Colgate article reviewed by the Columbia University College of Dental Medicine, roughly 5 percent to 15 percent of Americans avoid seeing the dentist because of fear and anxiety. In more staggering terms, that’s upwards of 40 million people. That’s why Dr. Joseph Perry and Dr. Thomas Shields offer sedation dentistry at their San Antonio, TX practice.
The team at River City Dental Solutions PLLC would like to go over the basics of dental anxiety and how sedation dentistry can help. If you or someone you love suffer from a fear of the dentist, we encourage you to get in touch with our team.
Why Dental Anxiety Is a Serious Issue
Just think of what happens when people avoid going to the dentist for years. Cavities can develop into serious tooth decay. Gum diseases may go untreated, resulting in gum recession. Root canal infections become more likely without professional attention and a focus on preventative care.
If fear is keeping you away from the dentist, it could have a serious impact on your health. That’s why sedation can be a game changer, helping you get much-needed treatment.
How Sedation Dentistry Works
Sedation dentistry refers to various methods that allow patients to achieve a relaxed state during a dental visit. At our San Antonio dental care center, we offer different types of sedation at different levels. We can tailor a sedation treatment to the needs of each patient depending on their level of anxiety and a host of other needs.
Levels of Sedation
There are four different levels of sedation that can be achieved:
- Light Sedation - Also known as anxiolysis, this is the most common level of sedation used when performing normal dental procedures.
- Conscious Sedation - A deeper level of sedation, this helps patients achieve an even more relaxed state during their dental visit.
- Deep Sedation - In this state of sedation, patients are able to respond to the dentist, but they hover right at the edge of unconsciousness for major relaxation.
- Unconsciousness - Used mostly for oral surgery procedures, this level of sedation means patients are completely unaware of what is happening during treatment.
Types of Sedation Methods
There are different methods of sedation that allow dentists to bring patients to various states of relaxation:
- Nitrous Oxide - This involves patients inhaling harmless laughing gas.
- Oral Sedatives - This involves patients taking a pill or liquid medication before they arrive at the practice. The sedative will kick in just as the patient comes in for their dental visit.
- Intravenous (IV) Medication - For deep levels of sedation at the practice, sedatives can be administered via IV.
We can determine the ideal sedation method for you during the consultation process at the practice.
The Benefits of Sedation Dentistry
Sedation dentistry has numerous patient benefits. Thanks to the relaxed state achieved, patients no longer have to worry about excessive agitation while they are in the dentist chair. People who have had negative experiences with the dentist in the past can now build trust and comfort around skilled dental professionals.
By visiting the dentist regularly again, patients can ensure great dental health in the short term as well as years down the road.
Learn More About Sedation Dentistry
For more information about sedation dentistry and why it may be the ideal option for you, be sure to contact our skilled cosmetic and restorative dentists. You can reach our San Antonio practice by phone at (210) 469-8361.