Going to the dentist regularly is an important element of caring for your oral health. Routine dental visits are a way to get rid of any plaque or tartar that has built up on your teeth. In addition, your dentist will assess the condition of your teeth and gums during those visits. If any problems are found during a routine visit the next step is to schedule an appointment to address those problems. Many people feel anxious about going to the dentist to address problems. The fear of pain and discomfort keeps many people out of the dentist’s chair. One way to help yourself overcome fear and anxiety surrounding going to the dentist is to explore anesthesia options.
Nitrous Oxide is an anesthesia option that is offered in many dental offices throughout the country. Adults and children alike can choose Nitrous Oxide to help them through minor dental procedures. This anesthesia option allows you to stay awake while you are having dental work completed. It helps you feel relaxed and is often referred to informally as ‘laughing gas’. The main function of Nitrous Oxide is to help mildly nervous dental patients face minor dental procedures without experiencing significant anxiety or fear. This is an excellent anesthesia option if you can generally get yourself to go to the dentist but experience some anxiety when facing a dental procedure such as having a cavity filled.
IV Sedation Anesthesia
IV sedation anesthesia is an option that is offered at far fewer dental offices than Nitrous Oxide. It is administered intravenously and must be monitored by an anesthesiologist. Because of these requirements, many dental offices do not offer IV sedation anesthesia. This is an anesthesia option that can help patients who struggle with severe anxiety or fear at the thought of going to the dentist. It can also be helpful for patients who need a large amount of dental work completed. IV sedation anesthesia will help you feel calm and relaxed throughout your dental appointment. You will not be completely asleep as with general anesthesia, but you may find that your memories of the entire experience are faint. This type of anesthesia allows you to follow simple commands from your dentist without experiencing the high level of anxiety that you would normally face at the dentist.
The anesthesia options you will have at the dentist depend on which dentist you choose. Most will offer Nitrous Oxide, and a few will offer IV sedation anesthesia. You can start your search for a dentist based on your anesthesia needs. If you are looking for help dealing with the fear and anxiety you have about going to the dentist – look for a dentist who offers IV sedation anesthesia. In the Gettysburg, PA area you can find IV sedation anesthesia at Samuels Dental Arts. Call and schedule a time to discuss this option and your dental needs.
Peter J Samuels DDS is a local Gettysburg dentist and a clinical instructor at the University of Maryland School of Dentistry.