Are you afraid of going to the dentist because of the pain? Does the thought of going through dental cleaning make your body tense? You’re not the only one who feels that way.
Many people have an intense phobia of dentists, so much so that they’d choose not to undergo any treatment. For people who share the same fear, sedation dentistry may help them with their anxiety. But how does it work?
Basic facts about sedation dentistry
Sedation dentistry utilizes specific medication to help patients feel at ease during dental procedures. Although some refer to it as sleep dentistry, patients are usually conscious during the process except for those under general anesthesia.
There are four types of sedation: minimal sedation, moderate sedation, deep sedation, and general anesthesia. Each has a distinct effect on patients, depending on what the patient needs.
Inhaled minimal sedation is when you breathe nitrous oxide to keep you relaxed. It’s also known as laughing gas, which gets combined with oxygen that passes through a mask placed over the patient’s nose. The dentist helps control the amount of sedation that you’ll receive.
Depending on the total dose that you need, oral sedation can vary from minimal to moderate. For those who only need minimal sedation, these patients only need to take a pill to get the desired effect. The dentist may provide you with a higher dose if you need moderate sedation. Some people who had a mild type of oral sedation felt tired that they fell asleep during dental treatment.
Meanwhile, IV moderate sedation refers to a sedation type that runs the medication through the patient’s vein. Experts say this type of sedation works more quickly because it goes directly to the person’s body. It’s a perfect treatment for those who’ll go through a root canal procedure.
People who get deep sedation and general anesthesia often feel unconscious or experience deep sleep during the treatment. While under the general anesthesia, the patient won’t get easily awakened until the effects wear off.
Preparing for the sedation
If you’re going to have a surgery that involves a local anesthetic, you need to let the doctor know about the medications that you’re taking. Aspirin or any other type of blood-thinning agent may affect the procedure itself.
Your dentist may advise you not to consume anything before the surgery. It’s also crucial not to drink any alcoholic beverages 24 hours before getting the anesthesia.
Once you’re in the doctor’s office, the doctor will soon apply a local anesthetic agent to the area that’ll get operated on. The anesthetic will alleviate the pain that you will feel, although you’ll still feel a slight force during the procedure. Depending on the procedure or your level of anxiety, the dentist will apply a sedative at the same time.
If you suffer from any anxiety related to any dental procedure, it’s best to talk to your dentist about it. It’ll help them understand your condition and suggest the possible treatment suited for your needs.