If you are visiting the dentist for treatment, you may be offered sedation to make your experience a little more comfortable. Sedation refers to the use of medications to help patients to relax while they undergo treatment. Depending on the type of sedation used, patients may experience a spectrum from mild relaxation to near unconsciousness to minimize anxiety during treatment. Here’s what you need to know about dental sedation, including the different types of sedation your dentist may use.
There are several reasons why a patient may be recommended to have sedation during their dental treatment. The most obvious is a dental phobia. Many people become anxious or worried about the prospect of dental treatment and the longer and more invasive the treatment is, the more concerned patients may feel. Sedation is a highly effective way of helping you to feel calm and relaxed while your dental appointment takes place. The level of sedation you’ll be offered to counteract your dental phobia will depend on the extent of your anxiousness and the type of dental treatment that you need.
Sedation is also routinely offered to patients who have physical or cognitive disabilities that may make it difficult for them to tolerate dental treatment. For example, they may have a condition preventing them from keeping their mouth open or that makes it difficult for them to remain still. Some patients may have a very sensitive gag reflex or become distressed in treatment rendering environments.
Every dental practice is different and all types of sedation may not be available at every dental office. Nevertheless, we are delighted to offer a comprehensive range of sedation options to suit every patient and their individual needs.
Officially known as nitrous oxide, laughing gas offers patients the lightest level of sedation. It is administered via a mask placed over your nose and is only effective for as long as you continue to inhale it. You’ll maintain complete awareness of what’s going on, but you’ll feel calm, relaxed, and able to tolerate your dental treatment.
This type of sedation involves the patients taking pills by mouth around an hour before their procedure. These tablets contain medications that create feelings of ease, calm, and relaxation that are stronger and longer lasting than nitrous oxide. For this reason, you won’t be able to drive yourself home following your appointment.
If you are having a lengthy or very invasive procedure or have significant fear, you may be recommended to have IV sedation. This is where sedatives are administered intravenously. The effects are even stronger than with oral sedation and patients are only slightly aware of what is happening around them, making them calm and compliant for their treatment. The effects can take several hours or longer to wear off.
If you desire even less awareness of your treatment need, stronger sedatives may be required. This form of sedation is also administered intravenously and you will be closely monitored while your dental appointment takes place because patients often fall asleep during this type of sedation, it can take up to 24 hours for the effects to wear off. Usually, by the next day, you will feel back to normal again.
If you think that you or a loved one might benefit from sedation dentistry and would like to find out more, please visit Rejuvenescence Oral & Facial Surgery, Dental Implants, and Cosmetics in Duluth, Georgia. Call (678) 562-8710 to schedule an appointment.