Dental anxiety, according to experts at the Dental Fears Research Clinic, affects upwards of eight percent of all Americans. The same experts believe that 20 percent of all Americans will see a dentist only in case of emergency and not for routine care. If you’re among these people, it’s important to understand that there are risks involved when you skip regular dental checkups. Gum disease is linked to certain types of cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.
Clearly, skipping routine visits with the dentist is not a viable solution. What you can do is seek a dentist or periodontist that specializes in sedation techniques. You’ll remain calm and stress free during the dental appointment, so that your periodontist can take care of problem teeth and gum disease.
IV Conscious Sedation
IV conscious sedation is not available in every dental practice. This method involves the use of an IV to deliver sedation throughout an appointment. If, at any time, the patient begins to feel uncomfortable, additional medication is administered and takes effect immediately. Only four to six percent of dentists in the United States undergo the certification process required by state boards. Ask to see if your dentist offers IV conscious sedation before scheduling an appointment.
With IV conscious sedation, you remain alert and you’re aware of the dental team in the room, but you sleep for the majority of the procedure and remember very little after it’s done. Your blood pressure and breathing rates will be monitored throughout the procedure to make sure there are no complications.
Nitrous oxide, more commonly known as laughing gas, is one of the more popular solutions when it comes to mild to moderate dental fear. During the procedure, you wear a mask over your nose that delivers the nitrous oxide. You remain awake during the entire procedure and can talk to the dentist, but you feel relaxed and comfortable the whole time. Once the procedure is complete, the gas is turned off. The dentist may offer oxygen to help eliminate any remnants of the gas within the blood stream.
After receiving nitrous oxide, you remember everything that happened during the procedure. There are few side effects, making it one of the safest choices. The only people who are not suited to nitrous oxide are those with severe respiratory ailments. Some patients who have a history of heart disease, high blood pressure, or stroke need to discuss concerns with their dentist first.
Orally Administered Sedation
Orally administered sedation requires you to take an oral sedative up to an hour before the procedure. The pill helps you relax during the procedure. It’s best used as a mild relaxer for those with dental phobia, but as the effects can wear off, it’s not the best choice for everyone. If it does wear off, there is a gap before the next pill takes effect.
Don’t let dental phobia keep you from getting the oral care you need. Before risking your health, schedule an appointment with an expert in sedation dentistry. Miami periodontal specialists Dr. Gallardo and Dr. Lamas offer all three sedation methods and that gives you the power to choose. Call Gallardo & Lamas Periodontics and Implant Dentistry at (305) 447-1447 or read more about sedation dentistry.