Some people get extremely anxious and uncomfortable about going to a dental clinic. For many people with anxiety, they would rather suffer from a toothache than see a dentist. If you’re one of these people, you may want to consider sedation dentistry.
Sedation dentistry can help you get rid of the nervous symptoms you experience before dental treatments. At Crescent Dental, we provide this relaxation option for patients who need it. Our methods are all designed to quickly reduce nervousness and stress to ensure our patients get the oral care they need.
Oral care is vital to keep your teeth not only shiny and bright, but also healthy. New technology in dentistry is being developed regularly to repair damage and help with long-term care. However, too many people avoid the dentist and needed care because of their anxiety. The following is an overview of sedation dentistry and how it can help you.
What Is Sedation Dentistry?
36% of Canadians avoid the dentist due to fear of equipment. Researchers and dental professionals are constantly looking for the safest and most comfortable techniques to ease that distress.
This is why dentists rely on sedation. These procedures can range from simple teeth cleaning to more complicated treatments such as root canals. Your stress levels and your medical history will determine how much sedation is needed.
Dentists use sedation in many forms. There are several medicines and techniques available for safe use. The following are a few different types that are available for treating anxious patients.
- Minimal techniques. These are designed to make you feel relaxed while you’re still awake.
- Moderate sedation. Also known as conscious sedation, this will allow you to communicate through the process. You won’t remember that much about the treatment.
- Deep sedation. This form takes you to the edge of consciousness. However, your dentist will be able to wake you if it’s necessary.
- General anesthesia. The use of general anesthesia will leave you completely unconscious. You will not be able to respond through the procedure.
Over the years, there have been many strides in restorative dental technology. Nowadays, missing or broken teeth can be replaced or reformed. Your smile can be completely remade. Safe and effective techniques like sedation allow you to get through these processes in a way that ensures you’re not uncomfortable.
What Sedation Methods Are Used?
Each type is delivered through different forms of medicine. Here are some of the different types generally used as sedatives:
- Tablet for mild or minimal sedatives
- Intravenous injection for moderate sedatives
- Inhalation for general anesthesia and stronger sedatives
Besides these methods, most procedures require the use of local anesthetic through injections. Local anaesthetic provides numbing to prevent pain.
Types of Sedation Dentistry
Here’s a deeper look into what each method is like to experience:
- Inhalation Sedation. This is the most common way of sedating patients. With inhalation, patients breathe in a mixture of oxygen and laughing gas. You can expect to feel the effects within just a few seconds. The use of this sedation mixture is considered the lightest and safest form.
When you opt for inhalation therapy, your dentist will place a comfortable nitrous mask on your face. These masks are often lightweight and latex-free. They’re easily adjustable, and patients can easily see what is going on around them.
- Oral Sedation. Patients who use this technique take medication via mouth at least an hour before their intended procedure. It takes time for this type of medication to take effect. During the process, dental professionals in the building will monitor your state.
When you take oral sedation, your dentist will perform the procedure while you’re conscious and responsive. The medication often has an amnesic effect. This means that the memories of the sounds and sights of the procedure are not an issue. This method is considered safe. It’s often recommended for people who have higher levels of anxiety and fear.
- IV Moderate Sedation. The most widely known type of sedation dentistry is intravenous. This method delivers a deeper level of sedation. There are a variety of medical reasons why your dentist will choose IV sedation for their patients. For one, this method will allow patients to have no recollection of their visit. It can make their time spent at the dentist office will feel like mere moments instead of hours. After taking oral sedation or having an IV, patients should not drive or be alone for the rest of the day.
Is Any Dentist Able to Administer Sedation?
Usually, general dentists have the qualifications to administer oral sedation. Most of them are also qualified to give moderate sedatives.
Deeper types present more risks and are more complex. For deep forms of anesthesia and sedation, dentists must receive special training. They must also obtain the proper permits and credentials. Dentists who administer deep sedation are oral surgeons and dental anesthesiologists.
Who Is a Candidate for a Sedation Dental Procedure?
There are many reasons people seek the help of sedatives for their dental procedures. The following are some types of people who make great candidates for sedative treatments.
- Those who suffer from severe dental anxiety
- People who have very sensitive teeth
- Patients who require extensive dental work
- Patients with a strong gag reflex
- Patients who suffer from a low pain threshold
- Adults and children who cannot sit still while in the dentist’s chair
The Bottom Line
If you or someone you know experiences anxiety about dental visits, discuss your options with your dentist. They can ease your concerns and let you know if sedatives are the right option for you. It’s likely they can provide you with the comfort you need to feel okay about making an appointment and receiving a check up.