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Oral Sedation Dentistry

Sedation dentistry plays a huge role for the 30 to 40 million Americans that have either dental anxiety or a dental phobia. These folks would rather suffer through a toothache than set foot in a dental office. We know that is not a viable alternative. Your mouth, your teeth, your gums all play a vital role to your overall health. You cannot avoid seeing the dentist. In fact, the health industry strongly suggests that you have an oral examination twice a year to monitor the condition of your teeth and gums. Sedation dentistry negates those feeling of anxiety and allows you to relax through any type of procedure.

Oral Sedation is one of the Four Options in Sedation Dentistry

You may have developed dental anxiety from a previous bad experience with a dental procedure. Something in your youth or just an unpleasant visit in general. Pain may not sit well with you and any thought of pain makes you fearful and anxious. You may not like the feeling of helplessness in the dental chair or you simply may not like someone in your mouth. All of these are very common symptoms for dental anxiety and the development of dental phobias.

After a consultation with your dentist you can determine the severity of your anxiety. A sedation method can be matched to your anxiety. The first and easiest is inhaling nitrous oxide, or laughing gas. The sedation does not last long and can be reapplied more than once to extend the sedation. The second level is the popular method of oral sedation. You are simply given a pill an hour prior to your visit. Much like taking valium the sedation will make you drowsy and relaxed but you will remain conscious. The next level is having the sedation delivered through an IV. With intravenous sedation the dentist can monitor and add sedation throughout the procedure. This method will put you on the edge of consciousness. The final level is being totally unconscious with a general anesthesia. This is used primarily with oral surgery.

Risk and Reward

When it comes to the tradeoff between risk and reward the reward far outweighs the minimal risk of oral sedation. With nothing more than taking a pill you can proceed with a sense of relaxation into and through a procedure that is necessary for your health. The side effects are minimal at best. You may feel some drowsiness as the sedation wears off. Some folks experience a dry mouth for a short period or even end up with a headache that can be rectified with an over the counter pain medication. The worst you might feel is a deeper fogginess which also comes with no memory or recollection of the procedure. In any and all cases with sedation dentistry it is strongly advised that you get a ride to and from your dental appointment. You will not be in any condition to operate a motor vehicle safely. Don’t hesitate to contact your dentist today and have a conversation about your dental anxieties. Take care of your mouth and your smile!

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