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Sedation Dentistry A Gift for Dentists

For years, dentists have had to struggle to get patients suffering from dental anxiety to face their fears in order to get the treatments they need. The ease and popularity of sedation dentistry is now making that problem easier to address than ever before.

For many dentists throughout the United States, the greatest challenge is often getting patients that are fearful, anxious, or otherwise more reticent than usual, to keep up with the part of their dental health routine that includes an office visit. Many people of all ages suffer from a fear of the dentist; in fact, nearly 40% of the population admits to moderate to severe symptoms of anxiety over the thought of sitting in that chair, even for something as simple as a routine teeth cleaning and checkup. For some, however, these symptoms are so debilitating that even entering the office can provoke reactions of stress, fear, and anxiety. Unfortunately, this problem often leads people to ignore dental problems until they become severe enough to demand treatment, which in turn requires more thorough and invasive dental work. In this way, fear of the dentist can be a vicious cycle thatís difficult to break, and one that parents unwittingly pass along to their children. Since proper dental care not only promotes healthy teeth and gums, and an attractive smile, but also builds a positive self-image and adds an extra dash of confidence to the equation, this fear is actually a highly destructive problem.

One of the great advances over the past few decades lies in the field of sedation dentistry, designed to help overly anxious patients cope with the challenge of facing their fears and receiving much-needed dental care. Through the use of carefully administered sedatives, patients should be calm enough to receive the treatment that they need, and the lack of pain and anxiety associated with the experience will gradually help to diminish the patientís dental phobia. The best part is that each person is able to choose the type of sedative thatís the best option for him, based on his age, tolerance for medication, and severity of dental phobia.

These options can range from traditional nitrous oxide treatment, known more commonly as ďlaughing gasĒ, to IV-administered sedatives that not only leave the patient feeling calm and relaxed during the dental procedure, but may completely erase any memory of it afterward. While this latter form of sedation is the most extreme, it is also the most effective, and provided the patient is agreeable to setup of the IV, most dentists prefer this option when a person displays symptoms of severe dental phobia, including anxiety and panic attacks.

The most popular form of sedation offered by dentists is the use of oral sedatives; simply remembering to take the prescribed medication before the visit to the office can go a long way toward ridding a patient of his fear and anxiety. While under sedation, the even the most complex procedure will seem as if itís taken a matter of minutes to the person undergoing treatment, whereas, in reality, it may take hours. With few side effects and an option thatís accessible to virtually every adultFeature Articles, sedation dentistry has become one of the most popular services offered by dentists today.

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