For some, dental anxiety is so severe they would rather live with the pain of dental problems than visit a dentist. If you are someone who feels stress or panic at the mere thought of seeing the dentist, you may suffer from dental anxiety. You don’t have to let dental anxiety stop you from taking care of your oral health. With oral sedation dentistry, you can feel calm and relaxed during your next dental visit. Reston cosmetic dentist Wayne Myles offers stress-free dental visits with oral sedation. Read on to learn who are candidates for oral sedation dentistry and how it may help you.
AM I A CANDIDATE FOR ORAL SEDATION DENTISTRY?
- Fear of the dentist: Avoiding the dentist due to fear is one of the most common reasons for dental anxiety. This fear may be from fear of pain, fear of embarrassment, or fear caused by a past traumatic dental visit.
- Difficulty sleeping prior to dental visits: Some patients with dental anxiety have difficulty sleeping in the days leading up to their dental visits.
- Increasingly anxious before a dentist appointment: Another possible symptom of dental anxiety is a feeling of anxiousness or stress (which may be recognized by sweaty palms and a racing heart). Some feel anxious in the days leading up to their appointment, while others may only feel anxious only when at the dentist’s office.
- Feelings of panic: Feelings of panic, which can lead to shortness of breath or hyperventilating, are a sign of dental anxiety.
Though oral sedation dentistry is very useful for dental anxiety suffers, candidates may also include:
- Those with a sensitive gag reflex.
- Those who are prone to fidgeting or unable to sit comfortably in a dental chair (possibly due to muscle or joint pain).
- Those who have difficulty feeling numb with traditional dentistry methods.
However, if you are often tired or irritable and are a sleeper who snores, chokes, or gasps during the night, you may be experiencing sleep apnea. Keeping a log of your sleeping habits or recording yourself while you sleep can be helpful in determining if you suffer from sleep apnea. If you suspect you may have sleep apnea, you should see your doctor immediately.
ORAL SEDATION CAN HELP
If any of the symptoms of dental anxiety describe how you feel about the dentist, oral sedation may help. Oral sedation is a medication administered in a pill form to help patients feel relaxed and calm. The level of sedation received with oral sedation can be individualized for your own appropriate level. The dosage can be minimal so you feel serene or can be increased to a level where you may actually fall asleep. Once treatment is complete, the sedative is allowed to wear off naturally.
Before treatment with oral sedation, patients must undergo a consultation to determine if they are proper candidates. A complete list of medications and medical history must be considered to help ensure the safety of oral sedation treatment. That being said, oral sedation medications are generally considered safe with low risk of minor side effects. Possible side effects include:
- Dry mouth
- Little or no memory of the dental procedure
- Light headedness
If your jaw or bite is misaligned, it can lead to the blocked airway that may cause sleep apnea. Dental treatments can help open the airways and may alleviate the symptoms of sleep apnea. The two most common dental treatments for sleep apnea are,