Case of the Month

 

 

 
Anxiolysis

At Frederick Dental Group, we understand that, for many people, going to the dentist leads to feelings of anxiety or fear. Today, however, pain control and sedation have become an important part of dental care. It is common for dental practitioners to provide in-office sedation for routine dental procedures. This is especially true at Frederick Dental Group. You could say that “we cater to cowards,” although the anxiety and fear related to dental work is not cowardly.

One solution to the problem of fear and anxiety related to dental work is light sedation with an oral medication. This is referred to as “anxiolysis.”

What Is Anxiolysis?

The definition of “anxiolysis” is “a reduction in anxiety.” In dentistry, anxiolysis is a form of oral sedation using a light sedative, such as Valium. It is not as strong as oral conscious sedation, so it is recommended for those with mild to moderate anxiety. In the range of sedation treatments, anxiolysis is the lightest level of sedation. There may be some impact on a patient’s cognitive function and coordination, but patients are still able to respond to verbal commands, and there is normally no impact on heart or breathing functions.

How Does It Work?

Anxiolysis puts patients at ease so that they experience little or no discomfort during their dental procedures. The doctor may also administer a local anesthetic so that the patient doesn’t feel any pain. When the anesthetic is given, the patient is usually so relaxed that they don’t even notice.

In most cases, two appointments are needed. At the first appointment, the doctor takes an in-depth health history of the patient, to make sure that the sedative can be administered safely. The doctor may also take dental X-rays. Then, the patient is given a prescription for a sedative to take the night before the procedure to ensure a good night’s sleep.

On the day of the procedure, the patient takes another dose of the sedative to make sure that he or she will be in a calm state of mind. Sedation experts monitor the patient throughout the entire process.

If you elect to have a dental procedure with anxiolysis, you will remain conscious for the procedure, but any tension and anxiety will fade away. You will be able to talk and breathe on your own during the procedure as well.

What Are the Benefits and Possible Complications?

Anxiolysis has been shown to work well under these circumstances:

For fearful patients

  • For anxious patients
  • As a helpful supplement to local anesthetics
  • Can be helpful for longer and more involved procedures
  • Can be helpful during invasive procedures, such as molar extraction

There are some cases where anxiolysis may not be advisable, such as with patients who:

  • Are medically unstable, such as diabetics, those with heart conditions, etc.
  • Have had an adverse reaction to certain medications
  • Are pregnant
  • Are elderly
  • Have a pronounced gag reflex

Why Frederick Dental Group?

If you have been fretting having dental work done, call us to learn about our anxiety free options for dentistry. What can be a nerve-racking experience for some is morphed into a relaxing experience. At Frederick Dental Group, our doctors and team members work on an ongoing basis to improve our skills, education, and technology. We also offer a compassionate health care experience unlike our patients have found anywhere else.

For those concerned about insurance coverage, we offer interest-free payment options.

Whatever your dental needs, contact Frederick Dental Group to see how we can help!