A few years ago, I realized that I was thinking about dental care all wrong. Instead of listening carefully to my dentist and making the necessary changes, I assumed that he was ultimately responsible for making sure that my teeth stayed healthy. Unfortunately, I developed a few serious cavities because I failed to properly brush and floss my teeth, and I knew that it was my fault. I decided to start taking notes at my dental checkups and carefully abiding by the dentist's orders. The difference was almost miraculous. This blog is all about working with your dentist to improve your result.
Paranoid in the dental chair? White coat syndrome got you wound up? Clearly, you might need some dental sedation if you cannot be calm for even simple procedures. Here are four good ways to calm down or sleep while the dentist works.
Do Not Sleep the Night Before
Nothing makes you quite so tired as no sleep. When you walk into the dentist's office on no sleep and combine that with any other sedation option, you will be very calm, if not fast asleep entirely, in a very short time. You should avoid caffeine and exercise to accomplish this, as exercise will relax you and make you even more tired for your morning appointment.
Unless you are allergic to nitrous oxide, a.k.a., laughing gas, ask for it. Most dentists have it on hand and at the ready for patients that request it. Breathe slowly and deeply,and you will be relaxed and giggling through the rest of the appointment. If you came in on no sleep, you may even find yourself lulled into sleep.
Pills or Liquids
There are also prescription pills or liquids you take about thirty minutes to an hour before your appointment. The dentist will write a prescription and you will need to pick up the medicine no later than the day before. It is a good idea to have someone drive you to your appointment after you ingest these medicines just in case they kick in really fast and you fall asleep in the car.
This will knock you out in seconds. Typically, your dentist will suggest that you take laughing gas before being needled up, but that depends on your dentist and medical history. If you are allergic to nitrous oxide, the dentist will suggest a sleepless night in preparation for your exam or treatment and in conjunction with IV sedation. You will absolutely need someone to drive you home afterward as IV sedation is very potent stuff and it takes a while to wear off.
When IV Sedation Is the First Choice
The most powerful option of the four calming sedation options, IV sedation is often reserved for high anxiety patients or patients who are going through dental extraction or dental implant surgery. In that case, some dentists will not do surgical procedures in their office and insist on booking a surgical suite at a local hospital instead. Be sure to double-check your procedure's location as well as date and time.
Contact a clinic, like Summit Oral Surgery, for more help.