Many people experience anxiety when going to the dentist. However, some have a fear so extreme that they avoid going to the dentist completely, which can ultimately compromise their oral health. Sedation dentistry offers a relaxing experience for people who deal with the fear of the dentist, as well as for those who will undergo longer and more complex dental procedures. Read on to learn more about sedation dentistry and how it can help you.
What are the Kinds of Sedation?
There many types of sedation available, depending on your need and the kind of procedure that will be performed. Your dentist will also look into your medical history before deciding on the best type of sedation for you. The common types of sedation are:
• Light sedation. Often achieved with nitrous oxide, this will keep you comfortable and relaxed but you will stay awake throughout the procedure.
• Moderate sedation. This type of sedation will make you feel very relaxed; too relaxed that you will not be able to function normally. However, you should still be able to respond to basic commands.
• General anesthesia. This sedation will completely put you to sleep. You will be in a state of unconsciousness, so you will need breathing assistance. In many cases, this is only used for oral surgery.
Sedation Administration Methods
• Oral sedatives. These can be taken a few minutes before your dental appointment or the night before to relax you. They will only relax you and will not help with pain relief, so local anesthesia is still required to numb the affected area.
• Nitrous oxide. Popularly known as laughing gas, this is inhaled and relax you while staying awake. It will not help with pain, so local anesthesia is needed.
• IV sedation. This involves administering a sedative intravenously, meaning through the veins. This mode of sedation is less common.
Benefits of Sedation Dentistry
One of the biggest benefits of sedation dentistry is that it can make patients feel like their dental procedure only last a few minutes, when it actually went on for a couple of hours. This makes it a great option for complex procedures like extensive smile makeovers. Because patients can withstand staying longer in the dentist’s chair, treatments requiring multiple visits can be done quickly with fewer appointments.
Another advantage is that it allows patients to overcome their fears and anxieties, allowing them to remain calm throughout routine examinations and more complex procedures. Thus, those with extreme dental phobias can get the routine care that they need, sparing them from possible severe oral health problems in the future.
There are cases where sedation dentistry can benefit individuals with disabilities or special needs. Patients with Down syndrome, autism and other special needs might have difficulties with going to their dentist appointments. Sedation can keep them relaxed and calm so they can get the care that they need and maintain a healthy smile and mouth.
Sedation dentistry can be especially beneficial to various kinds of patients for different various reasons. Some of the most common include: sensitive oral nerves, dental phobias, resistance to common local anesthetics, previous bad dental experience, general anxiety disorder, and having a small mouth that easily gets sore.
Is Sedation Dentistry for You?
Not all patients can benefit from sedation dentistry. Just like any kind of sedation, your dentist will have to consider your overall mental and physical health before determining if this route is safe for you. There are cases where you will be asked to get medical clearance from your primary care doctor. If you are worried about your upcoming dental appointments, talk to your dentist about sedation and ask if this is a good option for you.