Visiting the dentist can be a stressful or scary experience for many. As a result, some people have missed regular visits, while their dental health suffers. Others may have shied away from seeking out cosmetic dentistry for problems they want to fix, because of fear or anxiety associated with dentists.
The Canadian Dental Association (CDA) defines oral health to be “a state of the oral and related tissues and structures that contribute positively to physical, mental and social well-being and the enjoyment of life’s possibilities, by allowing the individual to speak, eat and socialize unhindered by pain, discomfort or embarrassment.” Is fear or anxiety of the dentist keeping you from maintaining proper oral health? If so, Dr. Shem-Tov and the professionals at North York Dental can help with their various options for sedation, to fit the needs of their patients. Patients can choose from either oral sedation or nitrous sedation.
Perfect for the dental phobic patient, oral sedation entails taking medication that is prescribed to the patient to relieve and reduce anxiety. The patient simply takes the medication immediately before coming in for the dental appointment. If patients choose this option, someone will need to drive the patient to the dental office. During the procedure, vital signs will be monitored as the patient relaxes in a sleep-like state. For some, nitrous oxide can cause nausea or dizziness. For some, the feeling is simply uncomfortable. Oral sedation is a great option for patients who have these worries.
Nitrous oxide (N2O) is a gas that is fed through a tube to which a nasal hood is attached and placed on the nose. After the air is fed through the tube, simply breathe normally. Nitrous Oxide has no color or smell. After about five minutes of breathing in the gas, a calming feeling will spread throughout the body.
According to Dental Fear Central (www.dentalfearcentral.org), there are many advantages to nitrous oxide sedation. Nitrous sedation works incredibly quickly, reaching the brain in as little as 20 seconds. After just 2-3 minutes, the relaxation and pain numbing effects begin to kick in. The depth of sedation can also be altered, so there is no fear of “overdosing.” No injection is required and patients can drive themselves to and from the office.
Either option can be administered to patients to make their visit one that is stress-free and enjoyable. DO not let anxiety or fear keep you from achieving your optimal oral health.