A fear of going to the dentist is one of the most common fears in the world. Thousands of people are so afraid of dental visits that they won’t even go. They would rather let their mouths become filled with gingivitis, cavities, or their teeth fall out before forcing themselves to go. Usually this fear is rooted in the pain that people expect from a dental visit. It’s easier to risk pain later on than face it head on. Now it doesn’t have to be like that thanks to sedation dentistry.
Sedation dentistry is a new technique that is only been around for a few years now which is why most people still don’t what it is. That’s unfortunate because sedation dentistry is the perfect alternative for people who are afraid to make regular dental visits. During a sedated dentistry visit patients are given medication or anesthesia to either relax them or put them under. The level of sedation changes depending on how much anxiety a person has about their visit:
- Minimal sedation — you are awake but relaxed.
- Moderate sedation (formerly called “conscious sedation”) — you may slur your words when speaking and not remember much of the procedure.
- Deep sedation — you are on the edge of consciousness but can still be awakened.
- General anesthesia — you are completely unconscious.
Using these methods dentists can help patients get to a point where they can feel comfortable enough to be worked on without anxiety. Sedation dentistry isn’t just for patients with severe anxiety though. Sedation is the perfect solution for people who need an extensive amount of work done as well, procedures that will take a long time to finish. Then there are those who have very busy schedules that need a lot of dental work done all at once. Depending on the level of work that is going to be done and a person’s anxiety dentists will use three different methods:
- Inhalation sedation (also known as “laughing gas”, “happy gas”, nitrous oxide, “gas and air”, relative analgesia)
- Oral sedation (anti-anxiety pills or a liquid)
- Intravenous (IV) sedation (drugs administered into the blood-stream through a vein – that’s what “intravenous” stands for)
Each of these different methods have their own pro’s and con’s that the dentist will go over before the time of procedure. That way patients know what they are getting into and what they can expect coming out of the procedure. Anyone that is considering using sedation dentistry should look into all of the potential benefits and dangers involved. They should also talk to their dentist to see if their practice offers any type of sedation dentistry. Patients might have to look for a new dentist office in their area to find a practice that offers sedation dentistry. Odds are they will be able to find one especially since sedation dentistry is growing more each year.