The fear of going to the dentist is common among both children and adults. The weird smells, the horrible sounds of drills and the rushing and indifferent staff can put anyone on edge. For this reason, some patients go years without getting professional dental care, examination, cleaning and treatment.
Everyone is encouraged to visit the dentist twice a year, or every six months, for an exam and tooth cleaning. When a patient puts off these routine, yet important, appointments, they are putting their dental health at risk.
At-home dental hygiene is only part of the solution to healthy teeth and gums. Patients need a professional examination and cleaning. After all, only a dentist can observe and diagnose dental problems unbeknownst to the patient. The equipment in the dental office provides a more even, thorough and deep cleaning you can’t achieve at home.
In essence, patients who are too afraid to walk into the dentist office are putting their dental health at risk.
This is where sedation dentistry comes in.
What is Sedation Dentistry and How it Helps
You may think of sedation as getting “knocked out” during a major procedure. Sedation isn’t something to fear. Not all forms of sedation will lead to a loss of consciousness. Sedation dentistry can also do wonders for reducing the fear of the dentist.
Sedation can do more than put someone under for a major dental procedure such as in oral surgery.
Sedation comes in many different forms with varying degrees of strength.
The most common types of sedation found in dental offices include nitrous oxide (laughing gas), conscious sedation and in pills that are consumed.
A few dental offices offer IV sedation. Only dentists who take courses and get an IV sedation license can provide IV sedation. This is the strongest form of sedation and it causes the recipient to temporarily lose consciousness. Only in major, invasive dental procedures will IV sedation be recommended.
Other, less potent forms of sedation provide the alleviation of pain and discomfort for patients during their dental procedures. They also have been shown to effectively calm the fear and anxiety of dental patients.
Laughing gas is the most common form of sedation used to calm and relax both child and adult patients. It not only relaxes the patient, but it also wears off quickly with no lingering aftereffects, such as drowsiness. With nitrous oxide, the patient is awake, alert and conscious. In fact, patients who are administered laughing gas are able to safely drive home right after their appointment.
At Grove City Dental, we strive to create a friendly, welcoming and relaxing atmosphere for our patients. Our own Dr. Picket is IV-sedation licensed allowing us to provide a broad range of sedation options to meet patients’ needs.
The dentist office isn’t a place to avoid. The health of your teeth and gums need regular, professional care and attention.
If it has been a while since you’ve come into our office for a teeth cleaning and examination, contact us today to schedule an appointment.