Nobody particularly enjoys visiting the dentist’s office, but most people are able to tolerate necessary procedures like cleanings and tooth fillings. However, there are those whose anxiety towards visiting their dentist is so strong that they end up skipping appointments altogether. This can have severe consequences, especially if good oral hygiene is not practiced. Fortunately, oral sedation dentistry is available to help ease anxieties and create stress- and pain-free dental appointments. Here are a few signs that you could be a good candidate for oral sedation.
- Going to the dentist makes you extremely nervous.It’s estimated that up to 15% of Americans avoid going to the dentist because of nervousness. If you’re part of this statistic, and you’re truly anxious about keeping a dental appointment, oral sedation could be a good option. It’s less overwhelming than IV sedation – leaving you conscious enough to give responses during your appointment – but provides enough sedation to make you unaware of the sound of drills or any pain.
- Dental work is typically painful for you.Dentists try to minimize discomfort and pain during procedures as much as possible, but some people are particularly sensitive, especially in the gums. These people will avoid going to the dentist because they are afraid of the associated pain.
- You’re bothered by the sounds and smells of the dentist’s office, or you have a strong gag reflex.Some people naturally have a strong gag reflex, which can make it difficult for dentists to perform necessary procedures. Others find the sensory experiences (sounds and smells) of the dentist’s office extremely off-putting, almost unbearable.
- You want to be sedated, but still conscious.If you want stronger sedation than nitrous oxide but fear the feeling of being fully unconscious and/or have a fear of needles (required with IV sedation), oral sedation offers a good medium.
- You plan to have a long procedure.Short or fairly straightforward procedures such as fillings or crowns do involve some pain or discomfort, but it’s mostly tolerable. However, more complex or intensive procedures can make anyone nervous, and oral sedation can help keep patients calm throughout the treatment.