Sedation dentistry can be a great help to people who experience extreme anxiety when they visit the dentist. It helps you go through your dental visit in complete relaxation, even if you’re having restorations done. It is usually used along with a local anesthetic for the most comfortable possible experience.
How Sedation Works
Sedation dentistry uses a mild sedative to help you relax and to free you from anxiety. Most dentists and oral surgeons use an oral sedative in the form of a pill, nitrous oxide, or intravenous sedation. This form of sedation is also referred to as conscious sedation, because you will remain conscious throughout your dental procedure or oral surgery. You’ll be able to talk to the dentist, answer questions, and respond to instructions. At the same time, you’ll feel very relaxed and calm. Some patients describe the feeling as a dreamlike state.
Time seems to go faster under sedation, so you might be able to have more than one dental procedure taken care of in one visit without feeling like you’ve been stuck in the dentist’s chair all day. This aspect of sedation is particularly helpful to people who have delayed seeing the dentist for a long period of time—sometimes even years—because of dental anxiety.
Preparing for Sedation Dentistry
Sedation dentistry requires little preparation on the part of the patient. If your dentist or oral surgeon uses oral sedation, you’ll want to arrive a bit early for your appointment so the sedative has time to take effect. You’ll also want to arrange to have someone drive you home afterward, since it will take some time to wear off. With nitrous oxide or intravenous sedation, the effects wear off more quickly. If you have any doubts about your ability to drive home, though, be sure to make arrangements accordingly.
With sedation, you can have restorations such as fillings or crowns taken care of without experiencing any anxiety or discomfort. It is also an excellent addition to local anesthetic for oral surgery, making these procedures easier and more comfortable.
Call our team at Northern Virginia Oral, Maxillofacial and Implant Surgery and set up a consultation with one of our skilled oral surgeons.