Sedation dentistry is a method dentists use to help people with severe anxiety when visiting the dental office. The patient is put in a relaxed state through medication given as a pill, gas or intravenous injection. There are several levels of sedation from a mild relaxant to fully unconscious.
Sedation dentistry is beneficial for both the patient and the dentist. The patient feels no discomfort or anxiety and sits still so the dentist can focus on the work.
Here are some of the main advantages of sedation dentistry:
• There is no real discomfort for the patient. Whatever the treatment, the patient need not fear intense discomfort.
• Even time-consuming procedures can be done more quickly and efficiently. This may mean the patient can have more work done at one appointment and avoid numerous visits.
• Some patients cannot control their movements, especially when they feel anxiety. Children may also be afraid and often jump or wiggle, making it difficult for the dentist to get even a minimal amount of work done.
• Some patients have a gag reflex they cannot control. When the dentist is working in their mouth, they have an uncontrollable desire to gag or vomit. This may be significantly reduced with sedation dentistry.
• Many dentists say they can provide better quality care when the patient is sedated. The dentist can give full attention to the work and not worry about the patient’s movements. The dentist need not hurry the work.
There are different types of sedation dentistry. The minimal sedation is provided by nitrous oxide, a gas you breathe through a mask. Also called laughing gas, it helps you relax. The amount of gas that you need is carefully controlled.
Oral sedation is a pill that can offer minimal sedation or moderate sedation depending on the dose. A mild relaxant is a minimal sedation, and you will feel drowsy but be awake through the procedure. A larger dose may make you groggy and you could fall asleep during the work, but you can be easily wakened. This just scratches the surface when it comes to the forms of sedation that are available.
If the thought of going to the dentist fills you with so much dread that you fail to have the care your teeth need, sedation dentistry may be your best option. You can learn all about your options during an appointment at Cascades Center for Dental Health in Sterling. Contact us today to schedule a dental appointment!