Going to the dentist can be a very nervous experience for some people. If you are putting off going to the dentist then sedation dentistry may help you feel more at ease. So what is sedation dentistry?
Sedation dentistry is the use of certain drugs to bring about a state of calm before undergoing certain procedures. There are different levels of sedation and you won’t have to lose consciousness but will be unlikely to remember anything after the procedure. It is ideal if you have a phobia, particular fear or are feeling anxious.
If you’ve had a bad dental experience in the past then sedation dentistry can also help you to overcome those fears.
It is sometimes referred to as sleep dentistry and can also be beneficial if you are undergoing a long treatment plan to help with pain management or if you have a sensitive gag reflex.
Different levels of sedation can include:
With minimal sedation you will not lose consciousness but will be relaxed. A gas called nitrous oxide or laughing gas is breathed in through a mask placed over the mouth and nose. The effects wear off quickly and have no lasting side effects so you will be able to drive yourself home after any procedure.
Conscious sedation, usually in the form of a pill. You typically take them an hour before the procedure. Like minimal sedation you are awake but will feel the effects and may become drowsy and slur your words.
With deep sedation you are on the edge of consciousness but still awake. You may not remember the procedure and so many patients see this as the best option. However it can have side effects. You should also disclose all other medications you are taking to your dentist.
Sedation can also be used for patients who aren’t necessarily nervous or phobic but who are undergoing certain procedures. Before deciding on sedation talk to your dentist, consider the procedure you are having and how you feel about it. If you are putting off dental work because of fear of pain or vulnerability then sleep dentistry may be the solution. Ignoring dental issues will only lead to more problems in the future and more extensive work.
While looking for sedation dentists in your area also consider the different types of sedation. If you are putting off going to the dentist because of a fear of needles for example then IV sedation may cause more worry. Similarly if you fear being vulnerable in the dentist chair then a drug which will make you drowsy may only lead to feeling more vulnerable. You might wish to feel more alert and stick with a general anaesthetic.
Talk to your dentist and discuss the procedure and all the sedation options. This in itself will help and start to ease any anxiety. There are lots of options and it’s all about making sure you are comfortable and get the treatment that you need. Leaving you happy and healthy orally and mentally.