If you have apprehension about seeing a dentist, you are not alone. According to research, about one in three adults in the United States has a fear of going to the dentist, with 12% of the U.S. population having what amounts to “extreme fear.” For many, this fear is significant enough to make them avoid the dentist entirely.
Alas, failing to visit a dentist is bad for your oral health and practically ensures that you will need longer, more invasive dental procedures later. To make dental visits easier, Bay Area Dental Specialists offers sedation dentistry to patients who can benefit from this service.
What Is Sedation Dentistry Exactly?
Sedation dentistry uses a form of sedative to keep patients calm and comfortable during a dental appointment. Unlike general anesthesia that puts the patient to sleep, sedation dentistry leaves patients conscious during their appointment so they can respond to commands like “open wide.” At the same time, these patients feel carefree and do not experience discomfort. This state is sometimes known as “twilight sleep.”
The need for sedation dentistry differs from one patient to the next. Some rely on sedation only when undergoing a lengthy or more involved procedure, while others may decide they want sedation for even a filling. Though much less common, patients with extreme fears may request sedation for a normal dental checkup.
Sedation Dentistry Options
At Bay Area Dental Specialists, our dentists offer multiple types of sedation to our nervous patients.
- Nitrous oxide: Also known as laughing gas, this form is administered through a mask placed over the nose.
- IV sedation: Intravenous sedation delivers the medication into one of the patient’s veins.
- Conscious sedation: A pill is taken orally about one hour prior to the appointment to achieve a drowsy state of consciousness.
Nitrous oxide is the best option for patients who want to drive themselves home after their appointment since the nitrous oxide wears off almost immediately after the mask is removed. With IV and conscious (oral) sedation, the effects wear off more slowly, which means that patients need to have someone else bring them home. The benefits of IV and conscious sedation are that they usually obscure your memory of the appointment. If you worry that remembering the procedure may add to your dental anxiety, this is a good solution.
Try Sedation Dentistry
As a friendly and knowledgeable dentist, Dr. Ashwini Bhave always strives to make her patients as comfortable as possible during their appointments. If sedation dentistry sounds like the tool that you’ve been looking for to ease your fears, she is happy to discuss sedation options so that you receive essential dental care. To learn more, please call (408) 809-7760 today.