A lot of people suffer from some form of dental fear or anxiety, and this can take a toll on their oral health as they’d continue to avoid their dentist, even for routine checkups. While there are different causes as to how patients have developed their fears, it is commonly accepted that most of these are born out of some past trauma that resulted in pain or embarrassment during an appointment with their dentist. At Highland Dental Clinic, Dr. Klein and his staff offer pain-free dentistry in a caring environment where patients won’t be judged or lectured. You are free to open up and express your fears and concerns and share your expectations on how you’d want to be treated. Moreover, our Kansas City dental clinic offers sedation dentistry, to help lower your anxiety and deal with any fears that you may have when you’re in for an appointment with your dentist.
What is Sedation Dentistry?
Sedation dentistry is the use of sedatives and other pharmacological agents to help calm and relax an anxious or fearful patient prior to and during their dental treatment. Depending on a person’s level of fear or anxiety, their overall health and their dental procedure, Dr. Klein will recommend the appropriate sedative that best suits each patient.
Conscious Sedation Dentistry
Patients who have mild to moderate fears and anxiety, and those who are about to undergo short and uncomplicated treatments, are often given mild sedatives that fall under Conscious Sedation Dentistry. This range of sedatives help patients feel more relaxed during their procedures while keeping them aware and awake of their surroundings.
The most common form of sedative used for conscious sedation would be nitrous oxide or laughing gas. A small inhaler is placed over a patient’s nose where they’ll breathe in a mixture of oxygen and sedative gas. This method is often given to people with mild anxiety and is about to go through a short and simple procedure as it works quickly and wears off after a few minutes.
Patients who have moderate fears and anxieties may be advised to take oral sedatives, which offer a deeper state of relaxation than nitrous oxide. These sedatives often come in a pill that is taken on an empty stomach prior to a dental appointment or procedure.
Dr. Klein would be able to discuss both sedatives in detail, so patients can make an informed decision on how they can deal with their fears and anxieties.
Dr. Klein on General Anesthesia for Dental Treatments
Individuals with a higher level of fear and anxiety may require stronger sedatives so that they may receive the dental care that they need. Sedation techniques that place patients in a deep state of sleep, where they are unaware of what’s happening during their treatment, fall under Sleep Dentistry.
One of the most effective ways for calming fearful patients would be through the use of Intravenous or I.V. Sedation. It is a quick, predictable and highly controllable method where sedatives are directly injected through a patient’s vein. Your dentist may then proceed with the procedure, where you won’t feel any pain or remember any of the sights and sounds during your treatment. This way, your dental treatment can be completed faster with fewer appointments. Patients who have moderate to severe fears of dental procedures, and are about to have a lengthy procedure, are often advised to undergo I.V. Sedation.
If you or a family member has a severe fear of dentists, then General Anesthesia might be recommended in order to safely provide dental treatment. It is a stronger form of sedation, which must be controlled and observed properly by a trained professional. This procedure is administered by a Board Certified Anesthesiologist Physician and is usually done in a hospital. Similar to I.V. Sedation, it allows a patient to undergo a deep state of relaxation, where they’ll fall asleep and won’t feel any pain. This will allow the dentist to safely complete a procedure, especially with patients who might not be able to cooperate out of fear or anxiety.
Please do not hesitate to call Dr. Klein to learn more about sedation dentistry and how it could help you or a loved one receive proper dental care, without fear, pain or anxiety. You may reach Highland Dental Clinic at (816) 792-8030 where our friendly staff would gladly help you out. We’d love to hear from you, so give us a call right away.