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How Is Painless Dentistry Possible?
Painless dentistry might be exactly what you need if you often find yourself struggling with dental anxiety. The term applies to people who get anxious when they are scheduled for a dental appointment. It can be caused by a number of things, including bad experiences with a dentist or a fear of being judged because of the condition of your teeth.
Depending on the type of dental phobia a patient is dealing with, painless dentistry can be used to make visits to the dentist more pleasant for the patient. It is very effective for those whose dental anxiety is caused by a fear of having a painful experience at the dentist.
Why you should consider painless dentistry
Anyone who has missed dental appointments because they were worried they might feel pain during their treatment should talk to their dentist about painless dentistry. Also known as sedation dentistry, it involves using medication to calm and relax patients prior to and during their treatments.
The different levels of sedatives used in dentistry are:
- Minimal: This includes the use of nitrous gas to keep patients calm during treatments. It is a fast-acting gas that wears off quickly after use.
- Moderate: This includes oral sedatives like Valium that leave the patient awake but not fully aware of what's going on around them.
- Deep: This involves delivering stronger medication intravenously. The patient remains awake but is barely conscious during the treatment.
- General anesthesia: This renders the patient completely unconscious. They do not remember anything that goes on during the treatment.
The sedatives administered by dentists have been safely used for decades, and they can be used for procedures as simple as teeth cleaning. If the patient's fears prevent them from getting such simple treatments, sedatives can help to relax them.
The goal of dental sedatives is typically to get the patient to the clinic and to make their visit a pleasant experience.
Common types of sedatives used in dentistry
Popular types of sedatives used to deal with dental phobias include:
- Nitrous oxide: Most people know this as laughing gas. It creates feelings of euphoria and keeps the patient in a happy state of mind during their treatments. It helps to combat dental anxiety as it is effective on most people.
- Oral sedatives: Medication like Halcion and Valium can be used to relax patients before they get to the clinic. It is typically prescribed to patients who have a hard time simply making it to the clinic
- IV sedation: Sedatives can be administered via IVs delivering more potent sedation. This approach allows the dentist to precisely monitor how much sedatives the patient recieves.
Sedatives are typically combined with local anesthetics and numbing creams to give patients a painless experience.
Dealing with dental anxiety?
Stop by our Astoria clinic to learn more about painless dentistry and how it can help you to overcome your fear of going to the dentist. Regular trips to a dentist are an essential part of good oral health, so do not let your anxiety get the best of you.
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