Overcoming Fear of the Dentist: Is Sedation Dentistry Right for You?

Are you scared of the dentist? If you answered "yes," you're not alone. Fear of going to the dentist is incredibly common. The level of fear can range from mild nervousness to complete avoidance - for some, leaving decades between appointments.


Unfortunately, the longer dental appointments are avoided, the more problems develop. Routine oral care is the most important step in avoiding serious complications.


If you know you need to see a dentist in Red Deer but suffer from a dental phobia, we can help. Many patients don't realize they have options available to make their visit to the dentist comfortable and stress-free. At some of our offices in Red Deer, we do this using a method called sedation dentistry.


What Is Sedation Dentistry?

Sedation dentistry uses medication to help patients relax during a dental procedure. It is available for everything from a routine cleaning to more complex procedures. There are different levels of sedation, and the one you receive will depend on your level of fear and the procedure being completed.


Nitrous Oxide

Considered minimal sedation, nitrous oxide ("laughing gas") is combined with oxygen and inhaled through a mask placed over your nose. It makes you feel relaxed and care-free, but you are responsive. Your dentist can adjust how much is given, and it wears off quickly after the procedure.


Oral Sedation

You take a pill, typically of the valium family, about an hour before your procedure. It will make you drowsy, and you may even fall asleep during the procedure. However, you can easily be awakened again. Depending on the dosage, it is considered minimal to moderate sedation.


IV Sedation

IV (intravenous) sedation travels into the bloodstream quickly. You likely will not remember much of the procedure, but you will still be able to cooperate with your dentist. Not all dentists in Red Deer offer this option, as only a dentist specially trained in IV sedation dentistry can perform the procedure. Your dentist will monitor you and adjust the level of sedation as necessary. IV sedation is considered moderate sedation.


General Anaesthesia

General anaesthesia puts you into a deep sleep and is considered being fully sedated. You won't remember the procedure and the effects of the medication will need to wear off, or you will be given medication to reverse the effects.


Is Sedation Dentistry Right for You?

If you have true fear or anxiety that is preventing you from seeing a dentist, then sedation dentistry is a good option for you. It is also an option for people who have:

  • Fidgetiness
  • Very sensitive teeth
  • Low pain tolerance
  • Sensitive gag reflex
  • Multiple procedures to undergo


If this sounds familiar, we want to help. You no longer need to fear going to the dentist. To set up a consultation with one of our friendly dentists in Red Deer who are trained professionally in sedation dentistry, contact us today.


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