When something scares you, such as visiting the dentist, there are two things that can occur. The first thing is that you may completely avoid it, which means you don't go see the dentist for even the most basic procedure that you need to have simply because you don't think that you can handle it. The second thing is that you beg and plead for the doctor to give you something that will knock you out so that you don't have to worry about it.
Dental anxiety/fear and getting that procedure done can be taken care of with sedation dentistry; however, you must first separate myths and facts from one another. There is indeed help for your dental phobia, but there is no one-size-fits-all type of sedation that is a perfect solution. Here is what you need to know.
Myth: There's Only a Knock-Out Type of Sedation
A lot of people believe that the only type of sedation dentistry that is available is the "knock out" kind. However, there are several different kinds of sedation including:
- Nitrous oxide (laughing gas) – medication is given through your nose for basic procedures.
- Oral sedation – medication is given as a pill (sometimes liquid) either the night before or the day of your dental procedure.
- IV sedation – medication is given through an IV for more serious procedures and patient's fears.
Myth: You're Always Put to Sleep
Because sedation dentistry is often referred to as "twilight" or "sleep" dentistry, many people quickly assume that they will go to sleep when under sedation. However, you are actually awake when sedated. While you may not be 100 percent aware of your surrounding or even fully remember what happened while under sedation afterward, you are not asleep. Each person is affected differently by each type of sedation, but none of them will "knock you out" completely or make you go to sleep.
Myth: It's Only for Those Afraid of the Dentist
Sedation dentistry is often used by individuals who have phobias of going to the dentist due to people messing with their teeth or because of the drills and needles. However, this is not at all the only reason for sedation dentistry. Sedation can be used for people with strong gag reflexes, long and uncomfortable procedures, and just any patient who feels worried or anxious about their upcoming dental procedure.
If you are interested in learning more about sedation dentistry, simply reach out to your dentist.