Does the thought of having your routine dental check-up make your entire body tense with fear? Would you rather endure the agony of a toothache than step foot in a dentist's office? You're not alone. A lot of people are so phobic about going to the dentist that they prefer not to have any treatment.
For people who avoid dental offices like the plague, sedation dentistry may take away some of that anxiety away. Sedation can be used for everything from invasive procedures to a simple teeth cleaning. How it's used depends on the severity of the fear.
What Is Sedation Dentistry?
- Nitrous Oxide. Also known as "laughing gas", you inhale, combined with oxygen through a mask that's placed over your nose. The gas helps you relax. Your dentist can control the amount of sedation you receive, and the gas tends to wear off quickly. This is the only form of sedation where you may be able to drive yourself home after the procedure.
- Oral sedation. Depending on the total dose given, oral sedation can range from minimal to moderate. The pill is Halcion, and it is taken one hour before the procedure. The pill will make you drowsy, although you'll still be awake. A larger dose may be given to produce moderate sedation. This is the type of anesthesia most commonly associated with sedation dentistry. Some people become groggy enough from moderate oral sedation to actually fall asleep during the procedure. The two main benefits from oral sedation are little to no memory of your appointment, and NO NEEDLES!
- IV Sedation. Like oral sedation, IV sedation is considered a moderate level of sedation. IV sedation is designed to relax you and make you completely comfortable. IV seation also eliminates your anxiety and pain. You will be so relaxed that you will be unaware of the sights, smells, and sounds of the dental office. IV sedation also gives the dentist optimum control of the amount of medication administered and allows the dentist to increase or decrease your level of sedation as needed, quickly and comfortably. The two main benefit of IV sedation are faster onset of the medicine, meaning you will be able to feel the effrects of the medication quickly, and no memory of your appointment!