Dental anxiety affects millions of people, and for many of them, it’s just that - an anxiety disorder. Their worries can keep them away from the dentist’s office entirely, or they can keep them from enjoying their visits due to fear and discomfort. For these patients, sedation may be the best option to overcome these fears and anxieties so they can get the care they need.
There are several different types of sedation dentistry options available, which vary from mild to severe. The type your dentist uses will depend on a number of factors, including how anxious the patient is about their upcoming appointment or what the procedure is. What’s more, your dentist will talk with you in advance about the anesthesia and what you should expect during and after treatment.
Types of Sedation Dentistry
Oral Conscious Sedation
A patient who receives oral conscious sedation will stay awake throughout the entire procedure but will feel completely relaxed and may not remember any details after the procedure is completed. Typically, patients are required to take the medication about an hour before their dental visit; this allows them to feel calm and relaxed when they get to the office for their treatment. Patients who are nervous about seeking dental treatment may benefit from this option, as they will feel comfortable and relaxed the entire time they are in the chair during treatment.
IV sedation is a type of conscious oral sedation that uses intravenous medication to help patients relax during an invasive or uncomfortable procedure, such as a tooth extraction or a dental implant procedure. This form of sedation works well for patients with a strong gag reflex or who are afraid of the dentist. Patients will feel groggy and sleepy but will still be awake enough to respond should they hear their name called or other noises. As a result, most patients are able to have longer procedures without feeling any pain or discomfort. IV sedation may not be right for everyone, so talk to your dentist about whether it’s a good option for you.
Nitrous Oxide Sedation
Nitrous oxide sedation is a safe, effective sedative method. It’s delivered through a mask that fits over your nose to help you feel calm and relaxed throughout your procedure. The effects wear off very quickly after you’re removed from the gas.
Is Sedation Dentistry Safe?
Yes, sedation dentistry is a safe option! In fact, under the care of an experienced dentist, sedation dentistry is virtually painless. Your health is also no cause for concern when using sedation dentistry. In fact, it can even prevent serious complications associated with traditional oral health care. For example, some sedatives can help treat patients who have difficulty controlling movements during dental procedures. For these patients, sedation can help prevent injury or even tooth loss. Sedatives also minimize the risks of heart attack or stroke that can come from prolonged periods of anxiety and stress. Finally, sedation can reduce the risks associated with general anesthesia for many patients.
At LAGOS Periodontics & Dental Implants, Rodrigo A. Lagos, DDS, MS, practices a full scope of periodontics with expertise in preventive periodontics, cosmetic periodontal surgery, gum grafting, and dental implants. To schedule an appointment, call us at 760-568-3421 or visit our practice at 36945 Cook St., Suite 101, Palm Desert, CA 92260.