Dentophobia: Fear of dentists; common among all ages.
Fear of the dentist is so common, that there is an actual name associated with the fright. Doctors of all kinds know that this is a normal feeling for people of all ages, so sedation dentistry became widely used. Sedation dentistry comes in many forms, and your doctor and their team will make an educated decision on which anesthesia is the best for their patients to undergo. The different forms provided by doctors are usually nitrous oxide, oral sedation and IV sedation. Each of these sedatives eases the patient to a different level and can be used if decided on by the dentist.
Nitrous oxide is a popular anesthetic because it is extremely safe and highly effective. This makes it a good option for most patients. Nitrous oxide, commonly referred to as laughing gas is a type of anesthesia that begins its function by inhalation. Your doctor will place a mask that covers your nose, which passes the nitrous oxide to the patient, along with oxygen. This mix keeps the patient alert, but in a subdued state; where they are responsive but not anxious.
Oral sedation is less popular for dentists and patients, but is used in more serious cases. Oral sedation must be prescribed by your doctor and taken at their recommendation. This will also ease patients into a relaxed state to ensure the procedure goes well for both the patient and dentist. Oral sedation is so intense that it requires you to have a driver the day of the procedure.
Lastly, IV sedation is a popular choice and is typically used for extraction procedures. IV sedation is administered through the vein by a needle and typically relaxes people to the point of sleeping. This is ideal for extraction cases because patients usually fear the tooth pulling, or the wisdom teeth noises that come from the routine procedure. IV sedation is one of the strongest types of anesthesia used by dentists, so unless you are extremely anxious, your dentist may not decide to put you under.
Anesthesia is used to ensure the patient does not have a negative experience at the dentist. Along with this, if a patient is too anxious, it makes administering the procedure difficult for the doctor, so it ends as a win, win for both parties. Contact us at our Brentwood or Nashville office.
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