Sedation Dentistry FAQ's
Are You Afraid of the Dentist?
If the idea of going to the dentist gives you anxiety, you are not alone. Many patients feel anxious going to the dentist, and about five percent have anxiety severe enough to be classified as dental phobia. In Reston, Virginia, these patients may benefit greatly from oral sedation at the dental practice of Dr. Wayne Myles. Oral sedation dentistry refers to the use of commonly prescribed sedation medications to help patients relax during their appointments. Combined with the gentle approach of a compassionate dentist, oral sedation is an effective tool to help patients get the dental care they need. Dr. Myles is an expert in helping patients have a comfortable treatment experience, free from pain and anxiety. To learn more, contact our sedation dentistry today.
What Causes Dental Phobias?
Usually, extreme fear of going to the dentist is the result of negative personal experiences during dental treatment. Someone who had a bad experience at the dentist as a child may develop a deep, lifelong fear that is debilitating because it is associated with the panic they felt at that time. However, fear of the dentist can be triggered at any point in life by a negative experience associated with dental treatment. For some patients, their severe fear is related to needle phobia. Oral sedation can block the panic response from dental phobia and needle phobia, so patients can be relaxed and comfortable during treatment.
What Are the Risks of Dental Phobia?
When dental treatment is avoided, gum disease is likely to eventually occur. We now know that health complications resulting from gum disease often extend beyond the mouth. Gum disease has been linked to increased inflammation in the body and, by extension, a higher risk of stroke, heart attack, and atherosclerosis. Loss of permanent teeth from tooth decay and gum disease can also lead to larger issues that affect your overall wellbeing. Potential problems include tooth and jaw pain, headaches, inadequate nutrition, sinus expansion, bone deterioration, and a compromised facial profile. Dental phobia can also rob patients of self-esteem, making the less outgoing and willing to smile.
How Does Oral Sedation Dentistry Work?
Oral sedation dentistry refers to the use of commonly prescribed sedation medications, called benzodiazepines, to help calm patients during their dental appointment. The patient is given a pill to take about an hour prior to their dental procedure. Depending on the dose, oral sedation can be minimal or moderate. With minimal sedation, the patient will be drowsy, but still be awake, and they will be very relaxed. A larger dose may be given to produce moderate sedation. The effects of the drug last for a few hours, so the patient will need someone to drive them home.
Is Oral Sedation Safe, and Are There Any Side Effects?
Benzodiazepines have undergone rigorous study and have been found to be safe and effective for most patients, with a low risk of side effects. Occasional side effects could include headache, nausea, or a jet-lagged feeling. Some patients experience an amnesic effect, or limited memory of their procedure.
Learn More About Oral Sedation
It is possible for you to receive your dental care in comfort. If you have been avoiding making a dental appointment due to apprehension, don't wait any longer. Dr. Myles can help, and we offer oral sedation financing options to suit most budgets. Contact us to schedule a consultation for sedation dentistry today.