When some people think about going to the dentist they’re immediately hit with a wave of nervousness and anxiety. The truth is, it’s quite common to be afraid of the dentist as between 30 and 40 million people report dental fear. At our dental office in Sparks, we want everyone to know that there are ways to overcome this fear through sedation dentistry.
What is Sedation Dentistry
Sedation dentistry, also known as sleep dentistry, is a treatment used by many dentists to help ease stress and relax the mind and body. It’s most appropriate for those with dental anxiety or even during longer appointments that may cause patients to become uncomfortable. While the term ‘sleep dentistry’ may lead people to believe that they will be put to sleep during treatment, oftentimes this isn’t the case.
3 Types of Sedation Dentistry
When your dentist in Sparks talks about sedation dentistry, they aren’t necessarily referring to one specific treatment. There are, in fact a variety of different sedation dentistry options available to patients depending on their needs. Let’s take a closer look at some of the most common types of sedation dentistry.
- IV Sedation (Intravenous Sedation)
The deepest level of sedation is known as IV sedation. During IV sedation, medication is administered into the body through a needle that’s been inserted into a vein. Since the medicine has a direct route to the bloodstream it takes effect pretty quickly and can last the entire appointment. Sometimes dental offices may bring in an anesthesiologist to perform the treatment. Some potential side effects of IV sedation may include dizziness, tiredness, or nausea. These effect can linger for up to 24 hours after treatment.
- Oral Sedation
If IV sedation isn’t an option or is perhaps too strong for some cases, a dentist may choose an alternative called oral sedation. Oral sedation involves simply taking a small prescription pill a little bit before the appointment. This more mild sedation option will still help patients feel relaxed, but doesn’t typically have the same lingering side effects as IV sedation. Patients will usually stay awake yet remain calm. There’s still a chance of feeling a bit tired as the medication wears off after the appointment. Patients should have a driver available to take them both to and from the appointment.
- Nitrous Oxide
Laughing gas, or nitrous oxide, is also a sedation option available at many dental offices and is the lightest form of sedation dentistry. This option allows patients to breathe in a concentrated mixture that will ease nerves and create a relaxed state. The effect vanishes easily and quickly once the nitrous oxide is removed and rarely has many side effects. Sometimes patients will receive oxygen to help reverse the medication.
While we certainly understand that the anxiety often associated with a dental visit is very real, nobody should avoid getting the dental care they need to keep their mouths and bodies healthy because of a fear of the dentist. The best thing you can do is talk with the team at our Sparks dental office about any fears you have. We’ll go out of our way to recommend the best option for you to help keep you relaxed at every appointment.
The truth is, men are more likely to skip the recommended bi-annual visits to the dentist. According to the Academy of General Dentistry, many American men simply don’t go to the dentist unless they have a problem. However, by maintaining dental appointments twice-a-year they can prevent many of these problems from ever occurring. The team at our dental office in Sparks want to help encourage men to keep up with their dental care to help avoid serious oral health and overall health problems.
Preventive Care Protects
Even if you brush twice a day everyday at home, there are just some things you can’t get rid of on your own. Cleanings and checkups with your dentist in Sparks help to not only safely and effectively remove damaging plaque and tartar buildup, they also help keep a close eye on your overall oral health. Without these appointments every six months, the mouth is at risk. Men in particular have a better chance of:
Advanced Dental Treatments. Since many men don’t visit the dentist regularly, they tend to be more likely to need advanced treatments. When plaque and tartar is left on teeth for prolonged periods of time they can lead to decay. Oftentimes decay is easily treated with a quick filling. However, if it progresses deep into the tooth,a a root canal and dental crown may be required to save the tooth. However, decay that’s compromised the integrity of a tooth could mean the need for an extraction and a dental implant or bridge to replace it.
Gum Disease. Both the American Dental Association (ADA) and Academy of General Dentistry (AGD) have conducted numerous studies that consistently show that men are more likely to develop gum disease than women. One recent study of Americans between the ages of 30-54 reported that 34% of men have gum disease compared to 23% of women. Gum disease isn’t a condition to take lightly. If untreated it can affect the entire body and as even been linked to heart disease, respiratory problems, and certain cancers. In men, gum disease may also affect prostate health. But it’s not all bad news. If caught early at regular dental visits gum disease can be treated before it has a chance to affect overall health.
Oral Cancer. Oral cancer is a widespread epidemic that will affect almost 50,000 newly diagnosed Americans this year. Men are actually twice as likely to develop oral cancer than women. If it’s caught early treatment is often very successful. But if it’s left to progress, it can spread to other areas of the body and can lead to death.
Visits to the dentist every six months go a long way in protecting your oral health and overall health. Don’t risk your health by skipping them. If it’s been longer than six month since your last appointment, we welcome you to call our Sparks dental office today.