Going to the dentist can be an uncomfortable and potentially frightening experience. Not many people actually enjoy having someone else poking around in their mouth, even if it’s minor. There are even certain circumstances where anything from a cleaning to major dental work can be simply overwhelming and impossible for some individuals.
For those individuals and unique situations, sedation dentistry can be the key to having work performed in a more relaxed manner. So, what is sedation dentistry and how can it help you? Read on to find out!
What is Sedation Dentistry?
As the name implies, sedation dentistry involves using medication to sedate or relax a patient, making procedures not only less painful but also more manageable for those with a phobia of the dentist and those who have extensive dental work to be performed. There are different levels of sedation dentistry that can be scaled to a patient’s needs.
Minimal sedation utilizes nitrous oxide (“laughing gas”) or medication taken orally in pill form to relax a patient while keeping them awake and relatively alert. When the oral medication method is used, minimal sedation can easily be elevated to moderate sedation, which still keeps the patient awake, but further relaxes them to the point where they may not remember much of the procedure.
Deep sedation and general anesthesia may be used for more extreme cases. Deep sedation is intended to keep a patient conscious and able to be awakened, yet on the edge of unconsciousness. General anesthesia puts a patient to sleep. Both of these methods tend to use an IV to deliver the medication.
Who Qualifies and Benefits?
Sedation dentistry can be used in a number of cases to alleviate the pain and stress that some people experience during dental work. Children who suffer from anxiety or the inability to sit still may qualify for minimal sedation. Adults with severe phobias, ultra-sensitive oral nerves, large amounts of dental work to be performed, or a resistance to local anesthesia may qualify as well.
For those who face these issues and a handful of others, sedation dentistry may be the only way they are able to receive the work they desperately need. In such circumstances, the benefits of sedation dentistry can hardly be measured!
Know Your Dentist
While many dentists are qualified to offer minimal sedation, the other levels of sedation require more experience and training. So, before you commit to having work done with the aid of anesthesia, sit down with your dentist and ask any and all questions you may have.
If you are unsure if sedation dentistry is right for you, ask your dentist for more information that may address your concerns. It is also a good idea to ask your dentist how often they utilize sedation dentistry to get a feel for their level of comfort and experience.
Sedation dentistry can be a game changer for those who struggle with dentist-related fears or find themselves in unique circumstances where a large amount of dental work needs to be performed at once. Ask your dentist today if this dental technique is right for you!