Minimizing Fear With Sedation Dentistry

Dentist working on a man's teeth

Many of those who fear to go to the dentist are willing to endure the pain of a toothache or any other dental issue. If this is the same for you, you run the risk of developing a more serious problem or having an extensive dental work in the future. Good thing, sedation dentistry can minimize your fear and anxiety by helping you stay calm during the procedure.

Sedation dentistry is also referred to as sleep dentistry, although patients are usually awake in most types of sedation. The level or the type of sedation will vary depending on the level of your anxiety or fear.

Laughing Gas

This involves the use of laughing gas with oxygen that is inhaled using a mask placed over your nose. This helps you stay calm and the dentist can control the amount of laughing gas you’ll receive. The effects of nitrous oxide are just temporary and you may be able to do or accomplish other tasks after the procedure, like driving a car.

IV Sedation

Intravenous sedation uses a sedative drug injected through your vein this. This works immediately, with the dentist adjusting the level IV sedation for the procedure. Scott W. Grant, DMD and other IV sedation dentistry experts in Meridian note it can bring you into a state of deep relaxation, so you’ll not mind the procedure. This may also cause partial or full memory loss for a certain amount of time when the drug works, until it wears off.

Oral Sedation

This involves taking a pill an hour before the procedure. The sedation pill can make you feel drowsy or sleepy, but you’ll still be awake. The dentist can also increase a dosage for moderate sedation. Note that the effect will vary from patient to patient, as some may become groggy and fall asleep during the procedure. This is usually the option for those who don’t want IV sedation.

Sedation dentistry also includes deep sedation and general anesthesia, which can make you asleep or unconscious during the procedure. The dentist may also use a numbing drug or a local anesthetic. Sleep dentistry is great if you have a low pain threshold or if you require an extensive amount of dental work.