Many people unfortunately suffer from white coat syndrome. This name came from the number of people who are anxious when visiting any kind of doctor. Anxiety may exist for a number of reasons, but dental anxiety specifically tends to occur because of the fear surrounding the procedures. It is common to fear a procedure because of the unknown, and elimination of nerves may seem impossible. Doctors everywhere are turning to sedation dentistry to ease the minds of their patients, which in turn allows the treatment to go smoother and more efficiently.
Sedation dentistry is provided for an anxiety free appointment. The thing many do not realize is that when a patient is anxious in any way, the procedure becomes harder to complete for the doctor and their team. With sedation dentistry, doctors and patients can now have an effortless procedure.
Sedatives used by dentists come in several different forms, depending on the level of nervousness and the procedure that is needed. This allows the patient the ability to choose what anesthetic they prefer, based on their nerve severity. The ADA, or the American Dental Association, safeguards that a set of standards are followed when providing sedation and the training required for the administering of the drugs.
The most common anesthesia doctors turn to is nitrous oxide. Nitrous oxide is commonly referred to as laughing gas, and it is usually used because of its effectiveness and safety. This is an anesthetic that does not put patients to sleep, so they are able to drive themselves to and from their appointment, but allows for them to have their nerves released.
IV sedation is another typical form of anesthetic, but is used in the more severe cases of anxiety and the more strenuous procedures. IV sedation is administered through the vein by needle, which makes for a deeper calm, used generally for extractions. This sedation method allows patients to relax, typically making them sleepy so they do not realize the procedure is taking place.
If you suffer from anxiety from the dentist, contact your dental care provider to see what sedation options they provide. It is important to let your dental staff know about your nerves prior to procedures, to ensure the treatment goes as easily as possible for you and the doctor.