Anxious about visiting the dentist? Would you rather endure the pain of a toothache than sit in a dentist chair? You’re not alone. Many people are so afraid about going to the dentist that they would rather have problems with their teeth or put up with constant pain than visit the dentist. If this sounds like you, sedation dentistry may be an option for you.
Sedation dentistry is the use of sedative drugs to provide patients with a relaxing and anxiety-free experience. Patients are usually awake and able to answer questions when using sedation during a procedure. The practice can be used for everything from simple teeth cleaning to longer-lasting procedures.
Is Sedation Dentistry Safe?
Sedation procedures are normally quite safe. The drugs have undergone thorough research and the practice is becoming more common each year.
During your visit, you may be offered nitrous oxide (also known as laughing gas) or an oral sedation.
Nitrous oxide is combined with oxygen and administered through a mask that is placed over your nose. The benefit of this technique is that the gas can constantly be adjusted to accommodate your comfort and safety. The gas will help you relax and tends to wear off quickly once the administration has ceased. This is the only form of sedation where you may be able to drive yourself home afterward.
Oral sedation is a pill that will make you drowsy but still awake. The pill will usually be Halcion or Valium and is taken an hour before a procedure. Depending on your biology, a moderate dose may cause you to fall asleep. Typically, a gentle nudge is enough to wake up most patients.
What are the Benefits of Sedation Dentistry?
Putting off proper dental care because of anxiety or fear can lead to more complicated problems over time. The use of sedation dentistry could be the answer to getting treatment with minimal anxiety.
Even for patients without fear, sedation dentistry may offer some benefits. Some dental procedures must be administered through multiple visits. The use of sedation dentistry may allow your doctor to finish a procedure in one visit instead of many. People are often left feeling that the procedure lasted minutes when it could have taken hours.
Don’t let fear keep you from a healthy smile. Sedation dentistry has helped many patients receive the care they need, with as little stress as possible.