Many people have a fear of going to the dentist office. This is common fear, and it prevents people from getting the dental services and treatments that they need to achieve and maintain good oral health and a beautiful smile.
If you or someone you know have dental phobia, you should know that there are certain steps your dentist can take to make your dental visit experience less stressful and traumatic. Sedation dentistry can provide you with a stress-free and relaxing time at the dentist office while you get the dental care you need.
What Is Sedation?
Sedation is a procedure in which sedative drugs are carefully administered to patients so that they are in a relaxed or calm state. The dentists who want to provide sedation dentistry services are required to undergo extensive training to be licensed to administer the sedation drugs. The sedative drugs are administered in different ways and may include:
- Nitrous oxide
- Anti-anxiety medicines
Benefits of Sedation Dentistry
- It makes dental patients less likely to avoid getting regular dental care at the dentist office and prevents them from neglecting their oral health to the degree that extensive dental treatments are needed.
- It gives dental patients the perception that complicated dental procedures that may take hours to complete have lasted for just a few minutes.
Types of Sedation Dentistry
No matter what type of sedation treatment you will undergo, you will most likely also require an injection of a numbing anesthetic at the site where your dentist will be working. This will be to relieve any pain you may experience during your dental procedure.
- Oral Sedation. This is the most common form of sedation dentistry and entails dental patients taking oral sedatives, usually in pill form. You do not fall asleep from oral sedation. Rather, you are conscious of safety and cooperation reasons and are relaxed during the procedure. Dental patients who are only mildly anxious are the ideal candidates to take the oral medicine.
- Intravenous Sedation. IV sedation allows the sedative medication to be delivered directly into your bloodstream. As a result, you will achieve a relaxed state very quickly. Like with oral sedation, you do not fall asleep, but patients who undergo IV sedation can such a state of relaxation that while they may not be able to recall the procedure, they can respond to their dentist during a dental procedure.
- Inhaled Sedation. With this type of sedation, your dentist will have you breathe in a combination of nitrous oxide and oxygen via a mask that is placed over your mouth and nose. The nitrous oxide, also referred to as laughing gas, will help you to achieve a state of relaxation, although the effects of the gas tend to wear off very quickly. Unlike with other types of sedation, after your dental treatment has been completed, you may be allowed to drive yourself back home.
- General Anesthesia. With general anesthesia, you will be completely unconscious and will not be able to be awakened until the anesthesia has worn off or you have been given medication to reverse the anesthesia. You will not hear, feel or recall any part of your dental treatment.