I have a very hard time with going to the dentist. I spend a minimum of two weeks before the appointment violently ill from nerves. I get through it, but usually lose 5 pounds from the stress, vomiting, and inability to eat. A friend told me that she uses dental sedation whenever she has to have work done and it helps her to sleep through the appointment. I was wondering, if I don’t need anything major done, like my friend, would I be able to have sedation done just to have a cleaning? I know it sounds silly, but I do have a hard time going through this.
You are not alone in your dental anxiety. Many patients suffer, so please don’t feel silly or alone. That being said, I am sorry for the anxiety you have gone through all these years just to keep up with your oral hygiene. It must be miserable and says a lot about your commitment to your oral health.
The short answer to your questions is “yes”. You can have dental sedation for just a cleaning, especially given what you go through. Choosing which type of sedation will be the key to a pleasant experience for you. For a cleaning, I would start with nitrous oxide. This used to be called laughing gas because it gives you a floaty feeling. It is administered with a nosepiece and you just breathe it in. It’s designed to relax you.Though, it has the additional benefit of allowing you to get on with your day as soon as your procedure is over. Your dentist will simply switch the gas from nitrous to oxygen and you are back to normal.
If you find that isn’t enough for you, though I think it will be, you could look for a dentist who offers oral conscious sedation. This is administered by a pill. Though, it is so strong that you will need someone to drive you to and from your dental appointment, as well as stay with you for a few hours while you get lucid and steady on your feet again. It can be a bit inconvenient unless you need a lot of work, which is why I suggest starting with the nitrous oxide.
This blog is brought to you by Decatur, AL Dentist Drs. Drake and Wallace.