Since dentists have been using nitrous oxide (also called laughing gas) for almost two centuries, sedation dentistry is nothing new. Many people feel a great deal of stress and anxiety over routine dental appointments. In fact, an estimated 9% to 15% of Americans skip scheduling dental appointments for that very reason. In some cases, sedation dentistry is a solution to dental anxiety. Read on for five signs that sedation dentistry might be right for you.
Anxiety, Nervousness, or Fear
The most common reason for sedation dentistry is dental phobia. Sedation can put a nervous patient at ease in the dentist’s chair while allowing them to still respond to questions or commands.
Sensitive Gag Reflex
A sensitive gag reflex can make a comfortable dental appointment impossible. Sedation can minimize the gag reflex for the duration of an appointment.
You’re Undergoing Complex Dental Work
Some people can get antsy sitting in one place for too long, and some dental procedures require patients to sit still for quite a while. Sedation can help keep a patient calm and relaxed for an extended period.
Difficulty Sitting Still
If you have restless leg syndrome or are just fidgety, a dentist’s appointment might be hard to sit through. Sedation can help the body and mind relax, minimizing such impulses towards movement.
Dental Sedation Is Not Bad for Your Health
Sedation methods used in dentistry do not have long-term side effects. Nitrous oxide is removed from the body five minutes after treatment stops and patients can usually drive themselves home afterward. Oral or intravenous forms of sedation might take a few hours to wear off at most. They are approved for safe use in both children and adults. If you are afraid of needles, nitrous oxide and oral sedatives don’t use them at all.
Putting off dental examinations or procedures can lead to unfortunate and long-lasting consequences later. If you think you might benefit from sedation dentistry, talk to your dentist about your candidacy.
About the Author
Dr. Natalya Ramsay earned her degree in General Dentistry at the Oregon Health and Science University School of Dentistry. She is experienced in cosmetic dentistry, pediatric dentistry, surgical treatments, and root canal therapy. She is also one of the few dentists in Oregon trained by Dr. Chao, inventor of the Pinhole Surgical Technique. She leads the team at Evans Street Dental in pursuit of compassionate and dedicated care for her patients. For more information about sedation dentistry, contact her online or dial (503) 472-1402.