Have you avoided getting the dental care you need because of fear or anxiety? The answer is yes, you’re not alone. As many as 20% of all Americans have admitted to avoiding the dentist because of their fear. Because this is so common, dentists have developed a couple of ways to help alleviate your anxiety – sedation dentistry. Let’s examine the two types: oral conscious sedation and nitrous oxide sedation.
Nitrous Oxide Sedation
Nitrous oxide is a gas made of a mixture of nitrogen and oxygen, as the name implies. Your dentist will place a mask over your nose through which you will breathe this colorless, odorless gas. Within minutes, a wave of euphoria will wash over you, suppressing your dental worries and allowing you to get the care you need. Nitrous oxide is best for patients with mild to moderate dental anxiety, as you’ll be able to remember some details of your procedure. The benefits of this option are that you will be able to drive yourself to and from your appointment as the nitrous oxide will wear off quickly.
Oral Conscious Sedation
Oral conscious sedation involves the use of a pill. You’ll take this pill about an hour before your appointment is set to begin. After an hour, you’ll feel incredibly relaxed, so much so that you may even fall asleep during your procedure! You’ll be conscious enough to respond to your dentist’s requests, but odds are you’ll remember very little of the procedure itself. Oral sedation is recommended for patients with moderate to severe dental phobia. It will require someone to take you to and from your appointment as the medication will likely last all day.
Which One Is Right for You?
The answer depends on your level of dental anxiety and your general health. Ultimately, the best thing to do is ask your dentist which kind of sedation is best for your unique situation. They can discuss the benefits and drawbacks of the different types with you in detail at a consultation. Talk to your dentist today to schedule an appointment so you can get any needed dental work taken care of with no worries!