Nearly 30% of Americans are afraid of visiting the dentist and even will put up with pain or discomfort to avoid dental visits. However, for those people, there is another way:sedation dentistry. It can also be called oral sedation dentistry, anxiety-free dentistry, and relaxation dentistry.
Available for both general and cosmetic dentistry, sedation dentistry can be used for procedures from simple cleanings and root canals to complete smile makeovers. At a dental visit you and your dentist will agree on the needed treatment. The dentist will give you a prescription for a drug such as Valium, Ativan, or Sonata.
“Most of the drugs have been available for years and all are safe to use,” says one of Miami’s best sedation dentists, Dr. Kenneth Anenberg, cosmetic dentist from Smile South Florida. “Some of the prescriptions last longer than others, so the amount of time necessary for your treatment will help determine what kind of medicine you will receive. Be sure to tell the dentist about other drugs you are taking and details of your medical condition.”
The day of the procedure, you will take your medicine before the appointment – how far in advance will be determined by how long your treatment will take. You will need a companion to drive you to and from your appointment. When the dentist starts the procedure, you will feel relaxed and, possibly, drowsy, points out Anenberg, a Miami sedation dentist. Most patients don’t sleep deeply unless they’ve been administered general anesthesia, which most dentists don’t provide.