Posted on: 29 June 2023Share
If you are one of the many people who suffer from dental anxiety, you may be avoiding a visit to the dentist. However, neglecting your oral health can have serious consequences, such as tooth pain, dental decay, gum disease, and tooth loss. Fortunately, there is a solution that can help you overcome your fear and get the dental care you need: sedation dentistry.
Here is a bit of information about sedation dentistry to help you better understand it.
What Is Sedation Dentistry?
Sedation dentistry is a type of dental treatment that involves the use of medication to help patients relax and feel comfortable during dental procedures. Sedation can be beneficial for people who have dental anxiety, low pain tolerance, sensitive teeth, a sensitive gag reflex, or need multiple or complex treatments.
What are the Levels of Sedation?
There are different levels of sedation in dentistry, including:
- Minimal. Minimal sedation means that the patient is awake but relaxed.
- Moderate. Moderate sedation means that the patient may slur their words and not remember much of the procedure.
- Deep. Deep sedation means that the patient is on the edge of consciousness but can still be awakened.
- Anesthesia. General anesthesia means that the patient is completely unconscious.
The type of sedation that is suitable for each patient depends on several factors, such as the patient's medical history, the type and duration of the dental procedure, and the patient's preference.
What Methods Are Used to Administer Dental Sedation?
There are several common methods of sedation in dentistry.
This involves taking a pill, usually a benzodiazepine, before the dental appointment. The pill can make the patient feel drowsy or even fall asleep, depending on the dose. The patient will need someone to drive them to and from the dental office.
This involves breathing in nitrous oxide, also known as laughing gas, through a mask. The gas can help the patient feel calm and euphoric. The effects wear off quickly after the mask is removed, and the patient may be able to drive themselves home.
Intravenous (IV) Sedation
Intravenous sedation involves injecting a sedative drug into a vein. With this form of administration, the dentist can adjust the level of sedation throughout the procedure. Nonetheless, the patient will need someone to drive them to and from the dental office.
Intramuscular (IM) Sedation
This involves injecting a sedative drug into a muscle, usually in the arm or thigh. The patient will feel relaxed and sleepy within minutes. As with most other forms of dental sedation, the patient will need someone to drive them to and from the dental office.
To learn more about dental sedation, schedule a consultation with a dentist in your local area.