Gateway Family Dentistry in Murfreesboro is one of the highest-rated sedation dentistry practices in Murfreesboro. If the thought of visiting the dentist makes you nervous or anxious, we can help you get the dental care you need in a calm, relaxed environment.
For individuals who suffer from dentist-related anxiety, the mere thought of a routine dental visit can cause full-on panic.
In fact, some figures show that up to 15% of Americans experience some form of dental anxiety. The biggest consequence of dental anxiety (aside from personal distress) is an increased likelihood of missing dental appointments.
While some individuals can endure a routine cleaning, more extensive dental procedures are often out of the question. For individuals with severe dental phobia, going to the dentist for any reason is nearly impossible.
Missing scheduled cleanings and examinations leads to a higher risk of periodontal disease and unresolved dental issues. This can lead to severe tooth pain, tooth loss, and even life-threatening infection. Sedation dentistry was developed as a way to help people with dental anxiety relax during visits to the dentist so they can receive the care they need.
What Is Sedation Dentistry?
Sedation dentistry is the practice of administering calming medications to patients with dental anxiety before a procedure.
There are three levels of sedation dentistry: minimal, moderate and deep sedation. Typically, these types of sedation take the following forms:
- Oral medication (a pill)
- Nitrous oxide (laughing gas)
- Intravenous sedation and anesthesia
Depending on your level of anxiety, your dentist will make a recommendation for which form of sedation dentistry is right for you.
What Are the Different Kinds of Sedation Dentistry?
Oral sedation is the simplest and least invasive option for sedation dentistry. Your dentist will simply prescribe you a sedative medication that you’ll take around 30 minutes to an hour before your procedure. The effects of oral sedation are relaxation, lack of anxiety or worry, and physical comfort. You may even find yourself dozing off during your dental procedure. You can still breathe on your own, move and respond to commands when you’ve taken an oral sedative.
The biggest issues with oral sedation are dosage management and the duration of the pill’s effects. Because the effects take time to materialize (and there’s no reliable way to gauge how long they’ll last), many patients will need a ride home after their procedure is over.
Laughing gas is another form of sedation that eases anxiety during dental procedures. Because laughing gas is inhaled through a mask and is administered in the dentist’s office, dosage is much easier to control. Additionally, the effects of laughing gas wear off as soon as the patient stops inhaling the gas. This makes the effects easier to manage.
Intravenous sedation offers a deeper state of relaxation, but is also more invasive, as the sedatives are administered through an IV line.
Because the sedatives go directly into the bloodstream, the effects are almost instantaneous. This is especially beneficial for patients with more intense anxiety. Intravenous sedation still allows you to breathe on your own and respond to external stimuli.
General anesthesia is also available as a form of intravenous sedation. With anesthesia, you are completely unconscious and will not respond to any external stimuli or commands. You will also need to be intubated since you can’t regulate your breathing independently.
Gateway Family Dentistry: Sedation Dentistry in Murfreesboro
Have you been avoiding the dentist because of fear and anxiety? Gateway Family Dentistry of Murfreesboro offers sedation dentistry services that will help you receive the dental care you need.
Contact our office today to learn more about our services and schedule your next appointment.