No one goes to the dentist to relax, but there are some who acutely fear going to the dentist even for a regularly scheduled cleaning. It doesn’t have to be that way for anyone. Your Morris County, NJ dentist uses painless techniques, including sedation dentistry, to perform every procedure. You won’t feel a thing whether you are there for a cleaning or for a root canal. With today’s techniques and modern equipment, you never have to fear the dentist again.
It doesn’t matter if you get nervous when you visit your family dentist for a checkup. What concerns dentists across the country is that the fear of dentistry keeps people from coming in at all. To maintain your dental health, it’s not enough to brush twice a day and floss your teeth at least once a day; you need to visit your restorative family dentist twice a year for an exam and a cleaning.
And yet three of every 10 Americans avoid dentists for that very reason, according to Dental Organization for Conscious Sedation. That means more people aren’t getting the dental care they need to avoid tooth decay, periodontal disease and potential tooth loss. Instead of giving in to your fears, rely on a dentist who offers sedation and sleep dentistry.
The Difference Between Sleep Dentistry and Sedation Dentistry
Sedation dentistry is the term that covers all pain-free dental procedures. Sleep dentistry refers to techniques used that knock you out completely during a procedure, just as you would be anesthetized in a hospital for surgery. All sleep dentistry is safe and effective.
The purpose of sedation dentistry is to put you into a relaxed state to eliminate your pain and alleviate your fears. It’s a proven method that allows you to get the dental care you need without causing you undue anxiety. There are four levels of sedation dentistry, from mildest to deepest:
- Deep. You remain conscious and communicative, but you’re calm and pain-free. Inhaling nitrous oxide, commonly referred to as laughing gas, is usually the way to reach this state. Your dentist puts a mask over your nose and mouth and tells you to breathe. Nitrous oxide isn’t addictive, and it dissipates quickly. You can even drive yourself home after your treatment.
- Deeper. You may slur your words, but you’re conscious, if not alert. You probably won’t remember anything your dentist does. You get to this level of sedation through a pill, an injection, or an intravenous (IV) drip. Ask a friend to drive you home, as you’ll feel unsteady on your feet.
- Deepest. At this deepest level of sedation dentistry, you’re not totally under, but you may struggle to speak. Delivered through an IV drip, you definitely won’t feel a thing during your procedure. Afterward, you’ll still feel out of sorts for several hours, so arrange for a ride home.
- Unconscious. You’re completely unconscious during your dental procedure, so you don’t feel anything. You’ll need time to come out of the haze, and you cannot drive yourself home. The most powerful sleep dentistry technique, it’s used rarely, and just for severe cases of anxiety.
How You Know if You Need Sedation or Sleep Dentistry
Not everyone can admit to a fear of dentists. Do you cancel dentist appointments or purposefully ignore appointment reminders? If you never have trouble coming up with an excuse to skip a dental visit, even when you’re experiencing a toothache, chances are you can benefit from sleep dentistry.
But there are other reasons you may want to try some type of sedation at your dentist’s office in Madison, NJ. For example:
- You have “white coat hypertension,” a condition that raises your blood pressure just by being in a medical or clinical setting.
- You have to undergo a particularly lengthy or commonly painful procedure.
- You just don’t tolerate pain very well.
- You have an overactive gag reflex.
- Your gums are especially sensitive.
- You or a family member can’t sit still for the procedure.
Some people, regardless of their fears, don’t qualify for sedation or sleep dentistry. You can’t be obese, be allergic to the anesthesia or have other health issues. If you know you suffer from sleep apnea, tell your dentist before your procedure.
The Risks and Side Effects of Sedation Dentistry
First, remember the risks of not seeing your dentist at least twice a year is the threat of gum disease, cavities, tooth infections and ultimately, tooth extractions. As for sedation or sleep dentistry, your risks are minimal, as you’ll be in a controlled environment surrounded by professionals. At worst, you’ll feel dizzy for several hours after your procedure, but that fades quickly.
Ask your New Jersey dentist if sedation dentistry is covered by your insurance. If not, you may have to pay for it out of your own pocket. But Dental Associates of Morris County offers affordable dentistry because they know it’s better to get the treatment you need now than to put it off.
Avoid future pain and extensive dental work by opting for painless dentistry procedures in Madison, NJ. Contact Dental Associates of Morris County to ask about sedation dentistry and how it can help you get the dental care you need.