Many people do not visit the dentist because they are too fearful or suffer from dental anxiety. Sedation dentistry offers ways to provide a safe, relaxed and anxiety-free dental experience to those who are apprehensive of the dentist.
Before administering any sedation, the dentist must analyze the full medical history of the patient, as well as taking note of any current medications.
Advantages of sedation dentistry:
- Anxiety is alleviated.
- Few side effects.
- More can be accomplished during each visit.
- Little or no discomfort.
- Perfectly safe.
- Procedures seem to take less time
Nitrous oxide, or “laughing gas,” is used as a mild sedative. It is delivered through a nose hood and is administered throughout the entire procedure. Although Nitrous oxide reduces the anxiety, it does not cause sleep so patients will be aware of their surroundings. There are few side effects associated with nitrous oxide, and it has been safely used in dentistry for many years.
Oral Conscious Sedation
Oral medication is provided prior to treatment in order to induce a moderate state of sedation. Though oral sedatives do not cause sleep, they usually dull the senses. The majority of patients cannot remember the pain, smells or noises associated with the procedure. Usually, a dose of medication is taken the night before the appointment and then again prior to the procedure as recommended.
Intravenous sedation is a moderate type of sedation. It is administered by a Nurse Anesthetist via direct injection into the bloodstream, which means the effects are immediate. Patients who have previously experienced IV sedation often report feeling like they slept through the entire procedure and often feel groggy and sleepy afterwards.
If Oral or IV sedation is chosen, it is essential that the patient have someone drive them to and from the appointment.