How Does Conscious Sedation Help Dental Anxiety?

conscious sedationConscious sedation in dentistry is a gentle form of sedation that helps patients conquer their fears and anxieties, for a more pleasant experience while they have their oral health needs attended. Conscious sedation is quite different from “sleep dentistry,” which uses stronger intravenous medication to induce general anesthesia. Conscious sedation is usually far more convenient for patients, as its effects are less profound and do not last as long. Patients who opt for conscious sedation often fall asleep naturally during their appointments anyway, without having to use powerful drugs to get there.

Do you have difficulty keeping or finishing dental appointments due to dental anxiety? Fresno dentists Drs. Claudia and Alex Denes can help you overcome the barriers that have prevented you from seeking dental care! Call our Fresno dental office at 559-297-1294 to learn more about conscious sedation in dentistry.

Dental Anxiety: A Very Common Condition

Almost a third of Americans do not get regular dental care. For some, it’s a lack of insurance that keeps them from seeking care; for others it’s the emotional toll of making and keeping dental appointments. For many, going to the dentist is simply a high-stress endeavor. Combine that with the common misperception that you only need a dentist when something goes wrong—and you get a broad swath of the population forgoing this critical piece of overall wellness.

Dental anxiety can spring from many sources. Some patients have had insensitive hygienists shame them for their oral health problems and don’t wish to incur continued abuse. Other patients may have had traumatic or painful experiences that they don’t wish to repeat. For others, it may be a mystery—just the sounds, smells, and physical sensations of a dental appointment may trigger an irrational panic response.

How Can Conscious Sedation Help Me?

In truth, it doesn’t matter why you fear (or hate) going to the dentist. Though it may help you deal with your anxiety to think about the cause, dental sedation is the most effective and commonly used solution to this problem. Conscious sedation works equally well with patients who panic, fear, or avoid dentistry appointments.

Conscious sedation consists of oral medication that helps patients avoid the anxiety and emotional response and just “get it done.” These medications are the same type as those that help anxious travelers fly on airplanes. Mild anti-anxiety drugs (benzodiazepines) are also the same drugs that help panic attack sufferers de-escalate their stress response and get on with their lives.

If you choose to try our oral sedation option here at Fresno Dental Studio, Dr. Denes will meet with you to discuss your medical history and oral health concerns and prescribe two doses of an appropriate anti-anxiety drug. The first dose is for the night before the appointment. Taking the medication the night before is an excellent way for you to be prepared for how your body responds to the drug and get a good night’s sleep. After you arrive at our dental office the next day, you will take the second dose and the appointment will start when you feel ready.

A Doctor You Can Trust

At Fresno Dental Studio, we know it takes more than medication to help patients conquer their fear and anxiety. Many cases of dental anxiety stem from a bad interaction from the past. In some cases, a patient felt pain during a procedure or may have felt ignored or disrespected by a dentist or staff member. For this reason, we always put the patient’s experience first. We take the time to listen to your concerns and make sure you are comfortable before we begin any procedure. We respect the fact that every patient has different life circumstances and experiences. We don’t judge our patients for their oral health concerns and we never try to coerce or shame our patients into accepting treatments. We know there are many dental providers for you to choose from, so we make sure every patient’s experience with us is a positive one.

Call Fresno Dental Studio today to learn more about conquering your dental anxiety and getting the care you need. Call our Fresno dental office at 559-297-1294 to make an appointment.

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