I have always been able to grin and bear it through my dental appointments. However, I do find myself avoiding the dentist more and more these days and I’m sure it is my teeth that are going to pay the price. I recently read about sedation dentistry where people can sleep through their dental appointments. My question is whether you have to be having a major procedure for that or if you can take advantage of it for something like a dental cleaning?
What a great question. I am super impressed that you have been pressing forward with your dentist even with your dental anxiety. That shows me you have a strong desire to keep up with your oral health. I also love that you are reaching out for help with resources when you are finding it more and more difficult to continue. You should know right off the bat that you are not the only patient who struggles with the dentist, so don’t be too hard on yourself.
There are different levels of sedation. Most sedation dentists offer both nitrous oxide and oral conscious sedation. The nitrous is the lowest level of sedation. When it first came into use during the 1950s it was dubbed “laughing gas” because it gave patients a floaty feeling. In your place, I would start with this level for a cleaning and see if it is what you need. The reason I am suggesting you start with this level is because you are able to go right on with your day as soon as the procedure is over with nitrous.
If you would rather sleep through everything, even a dental check up and cleaning, then you will want oral conscious sedation. While nitrous is administered with a nose piece where you simply breathe in the gas, oral conscious sedation is administered by swallowing a pill. Its strength is both a blessing and a curse. It is so strong that you will need someone to drive you to and from your appointment as well as stay with you for a few hours after your appointment until you are lucid and steady on your feet again.
But, if it is what you need, then by all means use the resources available to you. Your oral health is too important. The worst thing you can do is put off a visit until you end up with a dental emergency.
This blog is brought to you by Enfield Dentist Dr. William Cummiskey.