It is unfortunate when dental anxiety keeps patients from getting the treatment they need, and ironically, this avoidance often results in a dental emergency that requires rather invasive treatment and may reinforce that fear. Sedation dentistry can help such patients get the routine care they need, as well as treatment for early stage oral diseases, such as small cavities or gingivitis, so that they won’t need to undergo involved surgical procedures for advanced decay or periodontal disease.
When providing sedation dentistry, a dentist will administer medications that helps patients to relax so that they can better tolerate treatment. The patient may either inhale the sedative, in the form of nitrous oxide, or the medications can be delivered intravenously.
Your dentist will educate you on the different sedation options so that you can make the choice most suitable for you and your treatment. Nitrous oxide is fast-acting and also reverses quickly, so it can be administered in the office. IV sedation requires some preparation of fasting in advance, and patients also need to make arrangements for a responsible adult to escort them home and remain with them until they are fully alert. Different sedation methods may be appropriate in different cases, and your dentist can advise you of this.
Although patients are deeply relaxed while under sedation and it feels like a sleep-like state, they actually remain conscious throughout the appointment. This is beneficial because the patient is able to respond to the dentist’s commands, and the airway remains open and does not need to be maintained artificially, as it does with general anesthesia.
The sedatives also leave patients with no recollection of the procedure, so they won’t have bad memories that contribute to their dental anxiety.
Sedation dentistry isn’t just for the anxious patient, either. Patients who are undergoing complex, time-consuming interventions may be able to complete their course of treatment in fewer appointments, as the sedation allows you to tolerate longer treatment sessions.
Could sedation dentistry help you overcome your dental anxiety and get the care you need to keep your smile healthy and beautiful? Call our office and speak to one of our knowledgeable staff members about this treatment option.