Are you one of those people who schedule time with your dentist each year, but never seem to show up for your appointment? If you find you fit into this category, don’t despair - you are only one of the hundreds of individuals who avoids going to the dentist each year. According to the University of Washington, between 5% and 8% of Americans avoid going to the dentist because of fear. Furthermore, the university also reports that 20% of the individuals who do visit the dentist regularly have anxiety about doing so.
New dental techniques, like sedation dentistry for instance, are making it possible for more Americans to get the dental care they need. If you have been avoiding a trip to the dentist because you feel uncomfortable or experience anxiety during your visit, think about adding sedation dentistry to your next procedure.
• What is Sedation Dentistry
Sedation dentistry uses a combination of anti-anxiety medications and anesthesia to help patients deal with the unease they feel when they have dental procedures performed. Gas is one of the most commonly used anti-anxiety agents utilized in a sedation dentistry procedure. Most dentists use a gas, such as nitrous oxide, to help patients relax. Many times these gases are used in combination with local anesthetics. Some dentists are able to offer general anesthesia, which causes a complete loss of consciousness.
Besides helping individuals deal with anxiety while having dental work performed, sedation dentistry has other uses as well. This procedure is especially helpful for individuals who need to have a lot of dental work performed at one time. Rather than sitting in the dentist chair for what may feel like hours, sedation dentistry allows time to fly while the dentist performs several procedures in the course of one afternoon.
• Choosing the Right Dentist
There is no need to let your fear of the dentist negatively affect your oral health. If you’re looking for a dentist in your community who performs sedation dentistry, talk to your family, friends and co-workers to obtain personal referrals. Or, try searching for a reputable dentist using an online consumer referral website or discussion board.