Dental anxiety or in other words, a fear of going to the dentist is as real for adults as it is for children. However, going to the dentist should never be so terrifying that it hinders your ability to maintain good oral hygiene. You deserve the best dental treatment with the utmost professional care, and a pain-free experience – this is why you should consider sedation dentistry.
What is sedation dentistry?
Sedation dentistry (also known as relaxation dentistry or comfort dentistry) consists of using different medications to help calm and relax patients before and during dental procedures. There are different levels of sedation that dentists can use:
- Minimal Sedation: You are fully awake but well relaxed
- Moderate Sedation: you are awake but you are unable to speak clearly. Additionally, you won’t remember what happened during the procedure
- Deep Sedation: Implies that you are still awake to a certain degree
- General Anesthesia: Complete unconsciousness
Types of Sedation
The patient breathes in Nitrous oxide, sometimes referred to as “Laughing gas”. The Nitrous Oxide is inhaled via a mask. It aids in calming the whole body, including the nerves.
This medication comes as a pill or liquid, and it’s taken an hour prior to any procedure. Oral sedation is suitable for needle shy patients. In addition, it is much easier to administer than other types of sedation. Oral sedation affects each individual differently based on their weight, age, genetics, and medications they are currently taking or have taken. Since it is swallowed, there is a delay from the time the medication is taken and when it takes effect. Almost all people respond well to oral sedation.
IV means intravenous, therefore this sedation is injected directly into the patient’s bloodstream. The effects of IV Sedation are instant. Another benefit of IV Sedation is that it wears off fast and the dentist can control the sedation level more precisely. This also means that if the sedation wears off before the dental procedure ends, the dentist can increase the dosage to keep you sedated.
Prior to any procedure, your dentist will determine whether you need sedation or not. He or she will also decide what kind of sedative is suitable for you. Apart from all these types of sedatives, the dentist will still administer local anesthesia to numb the treatment area.