Sedation dentistry is a technique used to help people who suffer from dental anxiety. It uses a mild sedative to induce a relaxed, calm state free from any stress or tension. It’s often used in conjunction with local anesthetic for optimum comfort during dental procedures. It does not induce unconsciousness, as with general anesthetic
Facts about Sedation Dentistry
Sedation dentistry is a way that you can relax completely in the dentist’s chair, or while you are being treated by an oral surgeon. Sedation is not the same as general anesthesia; you remain conscious throughout the procedure and are able to respond to questions and instructions. Instead, you enter a very calm, relaxed state that some patients have described as “dreamlike.” Time seems to go faster, and you experience no anxiety or discomfort.
If you suffer from extreme dental phobia or have a very sensitive gag reflex, you might have difficulty sitting through even a routine check-up and cleaning. Sedation can help you. It is also an excellent aid for those who do not react predictably to local anesthetic. Though sedation isn’t usually used on its own for restorations or oral surgery, when combined with a local treatment, it can produce excellent results.
Choosing Sedation Dentistry
If you are concerned about upcoming dental work or oral surgery, talk to your dentist or oral surgeon about using sedation. There are three basic types of sedation, all of which are very effective:
- Oral sedation: You take a prescription pill a short time before your appointment.
- Nitrous oxide: The nitrous oxide is delivered throughout your appointment.
- Intravenous sedation: A sedative is administered intravenously throughout your appointment.
Your dentist might recommend a specific form of sedation based upon his personal preference, the type of work you’re having done, or what type of sedation is most effective for you. If you receive oral sedation, you should plan to have someone drop you off and pick you up after your appointment, since the effects of the sedative will linger for a short time.