Going to the dentist and recieving different kinds of care are some of the most common phobias in the United States. Estimates say that nearly 40,000,000 American adults do not see their dentist regularly due to the fear and anxiety they feel towards seeing the dentist. Staggering, right?
Fortunately, not all trips to the dentist need to be big, scary ordeals, thanks to sedation dentistry, a style of care that allows you to sit back and relax for a painless treatment. Unfortunately, most people let the fear prohibit them from seeing a specialist – and also have the wrong idea about sedation dentistry. Here are the 3 most common misconceptions about sedation dentistry … which ones did you believe?
1. It puts you to sleep
Patients often confuse sedation dentistry with general anesthesia, but they are different. General anesthesia “knocks you out” or puts you to sleep, while sedation guides you to a state of deep relaxation. You’ll look like you are sleeping, but you’ll still be conscious and will be able to respond to instructions given during treatment.
Dentistry sedation can be administered in 3 levels:
- Minimal: You will be awake and conscious, but will feel relaxed.
- Moderate: You will be very relaxed and may slur your speech. Your memory of the procedure may be hazy.
- Deep: You will be on the edge of consciousness but will be able to respond to questions and instructions. You may have little or no memory of the procedure.
Your dentist will assess which level is best for you, based on the nature of your procedure and your level of comfort.
2. It’s only for people who have severe phobias
If you associate sedation dentistry with people who are terrified of going to the dentist, think again. This service is actually a great choice for most dental patients, regardless of your level of fear. Because it relaxes both your body and mind, it can be useful for patients who have a strong gag reflex, a restless tongue, or trouble sitting for longer procedures.
3. It’s only for certain procedures
Unlike general anesthesia, sedation dentistry can be used conveniently for nearly any dental procedure — from something as major as a complicated extraction to something as minor as a simple tooth cleaning. It can be useful if you have a low pain threshold, and is even acceptable for use with children who may tend to fidget during a cleaning or procedure.
Does going to the dentist have you paralyzed with fear? Sedation may be just the thing to allow you to sit comfortably through a checkup and cleaning. If you think you may be interested in having a checkup under sedation, give Dental Specialty Associates a call at 602-795-5995 to schedule an appointment.