Does the idea of tooth extraction turn you into a bundle of nerves? Are you tempted to cancel procedures because they stress you out?
If so, you’re not alone. Many patients are anxious and fearful of dental procedures, sometimes to the point of avoiding treatment. Oral sedation is a safe and effective solution for this problem, and a great way to overcome even your most overwhelming tooth extraction anxieties.
What Is Oral Sedation?
Oral sedation diminishes nervousness, allowing patients to relax in the dental chair. Also referred to as sedation dentistry, this method of anesthesia typically comes in the form of a tablet that is swallowed prior to the extraction procedure.
Most medications used with sedation dentistry are benzodiazepines, which work to stop the chemical reactions that produce anxiety and fear. Your oral surgeon will determine which medication is appropriate for your extraction procedure, but common brand names include Halcion, Xanax, Valium and Klonopin.
What Is Tooth Extraction Like under Oral Sedation?
Once the medication kicks in, you’ll find yourself delightfully drowsy and relaxed. Your fears and worries will melt away, and you’ll feel calm and ready for your tooth extraction. Thanks to the medication, the extraction procedure will seem to go by very quickly.
Most patients remain slightly alert after taking an oral sedative, though some become groggy enough to doze off during the extraction procedure. If you do fall asleep, you’ll be easy to wake and able to respond to instructions from the oral surgery team.
Sedation dentistry temporarily impairs cognitive and motor function, so you’ll need someone else to drive you to and from your appointment. Once you get back home, however, the effects of the medication will wear off quickly. You’ll be back to your normal self in just a few hours.
What if Oral Sedation Doesn’t Help Your Tooth Extraction Anxiety?
Sedation dentistry is usually enough to overcome most patients’ nervousness about having an extraction. But if you have a severe dental phobia, you may not find much comfort in antianxiety medication.
The oral surgery team at Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery of Utah understands dental anxiety, and we take the utmost care to help you have a positive experience in the dentist’s chair. To that end, we offer several other anesthetic options.
Nitrous oxide, or laughing gas, is a common choice for anxious patients. With this safe form of anesthesia, your perceptions are altered. You will feel lightheaded, happy and at ease for your tooth extraction.
If you’d rather be unconscious, you may be a candidate for intravenous (IV) sedation. Once this type of anesthesia hits your bloodstream, you’ll be knocked out, completely unaware of the extraction procedure. Although it’s not recommended for everyone, the oral surgeon will let you know if it is appropriate for your procedure
With today’s advanced options for safe and effective anesthesia, you don’t have to be afraid of dental procedures. The compassionate treatment team at Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery of Utah is committed to making our patients feel safe and comfortable. Call one of our convenient offices today to discuss anesthesia options to help alleviate your tooth extraction anxiety.