As people age, proper dental care becomes even more important. Dental health is a very significant part of overall health, and good dental hygiene is important. However, many elderly patients skip dental visits, either because of finances or fear. While it's normal to feel at least some anxiety about visiting the dentist, there's no reason not to get important work done. Thankfully, there are sedation options for seniors with anxiety issues.
Sedation Dentistry Options for Senior Citizens
Typically, dentists prefer to use laughing gas in sedation dentistry for the elderly. The procedure involves the patient wearing a small mask over his or her mouth and nose, and the administration of a small amount of nitrous oxide/oxygen mixture. Once the patient aspirates the gas, he or she will calm down enough to allow the dentist to do the procedure with little or no anxiety.
Oral sedation is another common option, and it simply involves the usage of medication. The pills given have the same effects as nitrous oxide, but oral sedation is good for patients who would rather take a pill than have a mask on their face.
Intravenous (IV) sedation is yet another option, but most patients opt for inhalation or oral sedation. However, if you don't like to take pills and you don't want to wear a mask, intravenous sedation may be the best option. Everyone is different, and what's good for you may not be good for another patient. A dental professional will talk to you to determine which choice suits you best.
Choices and Convenience
Aside from anxiety relief, oral, IV and inhalation sedation offers seniors one more benefit: convenience. Some seniors like to have longer appointments so they don't have to hold their jaws open for prolonged periods, and others prefer to get more done at one time. The convenience involved in doing multiple dental procedures at one time makes sedation dentistry a great choice for busy seniors, as well as those with anxiety issues.
In most cases, sedation dentistry can be a viable option for seniors who are fearful of visits to the dentist's office, or for those who want to get everything done in one visit. Whether it's done orally, intravenously or with laughing gas, sedation dentistry can make dental care easy and painless while simplifying the process significantly. For tips and additional information, schedule a consultation with a dentist like Richard M Holmes DMD PA.