There are several ways to relax when you visit your dentist. Some are simply mind over matter and employ techniques such as listening to music, gazing at peaceful scenery, or watching the latest movie in an effort to distract you from what's going on in your mouth. More recently, the efforts of a cosmetic dentist, which may include more extensive work, will offer a broader range of relaxation techniques. These offerings may be known as sedation dentistry.
Find A Happy Place
This method sounds trite, but sometimes clearing your mind, listening to soothing music or nature sounds can go a long way toward relieving some of the anxiety that many people experience when visiting their cosmetic dentist. It is often the anticipation of pain, rather than the actual pain experienced that creates the high level of anxiety that many people go through.
Take A Pill
Your dentist may prescribe an oral sedative such as Diazepam the night before a procedure. Some meds may be offered even hours before an appointment. These sedatives will relax you, but will not offer pain relief. So in addition to the sedative, your dentist will still apply local anesthetic such as a shot of Novocain.
Some cosmetic dentists are able to offer anti-anxiety medication via intravenous (IV) sedation. Although, if part of your fear stems from needles, this form of relaxation may not appeal to you either. Again, there is no pain relief with this method, so the application of local anesthetic will be necessary.
Perhaps the most popular – or most regularly lampooned – version of sedation is nitrous oxide gas or laughing gas. The patient breathes the gas in, while remaining conscious, allowing your dentist to again apply local anesthetic to eliminate any pain you may experience during your procedure.
Sleep It Off
The one method of sedation completely guaranteed to remove all anxiety and pain is general anesthesia. With this technique, the dentist uses anesthetic to make the patient completely unconscious. While unconscious, you will feel no pain and have no awareness of your surroundings. This is the only method that will not require local anesthetic, you will however, have to recover from being completely knocked out.
The four methods described above can be used in combination with each other to provide you with the level of comfort that you desire. Your cosmetic dentist may offer laughing gas to relax you prior to starting an IV for more aggressive sedation methods. An anti-anxiety pill may be used in conjunction with the laughing gas to ensure that you are completely relaxed.
Going to the dentist need not be an anxiety laden event. Whether you need dentists, Minneapolis or Little Rock, cosmetic dentist professionals can consult with you to find the sedation therapy combination that is best for you.