A lot of people have a fear when it comes to going to the dentist or going through dental procedures. They worry about how much pain they might feel as well as how vulnerable they could feel and the discomfort. Sedation dentistry is able to help patients feel relaxed during regular dental work, so is it a good choice for you?
What is Sedation Dentistry?
During sedation dentistry, your dentist will administer a drug before or during the dental procedure. There is only one type available that causes a patient to go completely unconscious: general anesthesia. Other forms of sedation will only work to relax you, but they will not be able to knock you out completely.
Some of the most common types of sedation dentistry include:
- Nitrous oxide. This is a gas that is able to relax you during any procedure. It also wears off quite quickly so that your dentist might be able to let you drive yourself home after you’re finished.
- Oral sedatives. Oral sedatives, like diazepam, can also help relax patients. You usually take them about an hour before your appointment. You will be fully awake, however, you will feel less anxious, and you could feel sleepy until it wears off.
- Intravenous sedatives. Intravenous or IV sedatives can put you in different levels of consciousness. This is also known as general anesthesia, and it is able to put you into a deep sleep until it wears off. Other IV drugs can put you into a twilight sleep. This means you will be less aware of your surroundings, you could feel a bit sleepy, and you might not remember much of what happened during the procedure afterward.
Some patients think that going with general anesthesia is the best option; however, it also comes with more potential side effects than the other methods. Patients should consider a lesser form of sedation dentistry. If your dentist talks to you about sleep dentistry, they most likely mean general anesthesia.
You could prefer dental sedation or sleep dentistry, however, you should always speak about it with your dentist first. It’s also helpful to mention any allergies you have had in the past, especially if you have had any with general anesthesia, so your dentist can make the best recommendation for you.
You can also talk about local anesthetics. These drugs can numb your mouth during dental procedures so that you will not experience pain. Dentists typically administer local anesthetic in a few places using a short needle along the gum line. If you are not afraid of going to the dentist, this could be the only thing you need for your dental procedures.
The process of sedation dentistry you will experience differs depending on the type of sedation your dentist is using. For oral sedatives, your dentist will give you a prescription for the drug and then give you instructions on how you should take it.