When Anti-Anxiety Medications Aren't Enough: Your Option For Dental Care


For some people, being afraid of the dentist goes beyond minor anxiety. If you're experiencing extreme stress, anxiety, or fear at the thought of getting dental care, you're probably feeling trapped. After all, you can't go without getting your teeth taken care of. If your anti-anxiety medications haven't been enough to get you in the dentist's chair, consider sedation dentistry as a stronger alternative.

What is Sedation Dentistry?

Sedation dentistry refers to using medication to ease patients into a form of sedation while they're being worked on. Sometimes this sedation is limited to surgical procedures, while other times it's used for people who are fearful of simpler dental procedures.

Depending on the dentist, sedation dentistry may be performed either with an injection or via the air, in the form of a medication like laughing gas.

In either case, sedation dentistry doesn't completely knock patients out. Instead, patients drift in a sort of semi-consciousness where they remain aware of what's going on but don't feel the anxiety that they typically experience.

What to Expect

Sedation dentistry may require that you have a simple blood test before having it administered. This is in order to ensure that you won't experience any kind of complications while you're being placed under sedation.

If everything looks good with your blood work, your dentist will discuss with you which kind of sedation you'll be receiving. From there, you'll be ready to begin.

For most people, the sedation wears off very quickly once the procedure is complete. You may need someone to drive you home, but you should be able to return to your normal activities soon after.

How to Ask For It

Most dentists don't use sedation dentistry for day-to-day procedures like cleaning teeth or performing fillings. However, you won't know if your dentist offers it until you ask. If they don't perform sedation dentistry, you may consider seeking out a specialist that performs sedation dentistry exclusively.

Whether you seek out a specialist or not, it's a good idea to bring some documentation regarding your anxiety with you. Any medications you're currently taking for anxiety as well as information from your doctor regarding your diagnosis will help the dentist to understand how to help you.

Sedation dentistry is a great option for those who need dental care but are nearly paralyzed with fear or anxiety. Don't put off your oral care because of fear or anxiety. Talk to a dentist about sedation dentistry options.

About Me

FAQs About Pregnancy and Dental Health

During pregnancy, expectant mothers have to deal with a host of changes to their bodies. I was surprised to learn that part of those changes is to your dental health. I was not aware that hormonal changes could mean an increased risk of gum infection and other dental problems. Luckily for me, my dentist was prepared to handle any problems that I experienced during my pregnancy. I created this blog to help other expectant mothers understand the changes that their dental health could experience throughout their pregnancies and the possible ramifications those changes could have on their pregnancies and the health of their unborn children.

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