If you have a phobia about visiting the dentist, you’re not alone. It is not uncommon for people to be afraid of the pain or the feeling of someone working on their teeth. Sedation dentistry services provide an alternative to traditional dentistry by helping the patient relax. How does sedation dentistry work and who does it work best on?
A dentist provides sedation through gas, IV, or oral medication to bring the patient to a certain level of relaxation. Sedation dentistry is best for patients who have either had bad experiences in the dentist’s chair or cannot overcome their fear of dentistry-related pain or procedures. How does sedation dentistry work? Let’s take a closer look below.
How Does Sedation Dentistry Work?
Sedation dentistry utilizes a form of medication to help you relax during a dental procedure. Your level of sedation ranges from slightly relaxed by coherent to being completely knocked out. There four main levels of sedation including:
1. Minimal Sedation
During minimal sedation, you are fully awake but relaxed. You are coherent throughout the entire procedure, but do not feel anxiety. You may remember some or all of the procedure but will not see it as a negative experience.
2. Moderation Sedation
Also known as conscious sedation, moderate sedation will give you a feeling of relaxation with little memory of the procedure. You will still have bodily functions and may even be able to communicate with your dentist. However, you will feel no pain.
3. Deep Sedation
Deep sedation is for procedures that produce moderate pain to the teeth and gums. During deep sedation, you are barely conscious. Your dentist can awaken you, if necessary, but you should have no memory of the procedure.
4. General Anesthesia
If you need to be completely knocked out during the procedure, your dentist will apply general anesthesia. This is the same level of anesthesia used in surgeries. As such, it is often reserved for the most intense or painful dental procedures.
The type of sedation that the dentist gives you will depend on several factors such as:
- Your medical condition
- The type of procedure you will undergo
- Your threshold of pain
- The level of pain to expect
- How much anxiety you feel about the procedure
Types of Dentistry Sedation
Common types of dentistry sedation that specialty dental services use include:
Inhaled Minimal Sedation
Your dentist may ask you to breathe in nitrous oxide (“laughing gas”) combined with oxygen. You inhale the combination through a mask that the dentist places over your nose. This level of sedation is easy to control and continuous, as it wears off quickly. Once the sedation wears off, you can drive home with no problems.
Your doctor can give you mild to moderate sedation in pill form. The substance is known as Halcion, which is similar to valium. You place the pill underneath your tongue and let it dissolve about an hour before the procedure. The sedation will make you fall asleep. However, the dentist can easily wake you up, if necessary.
Similar to the same effects as oral sedation, the dentist feeds the sedative directly into your vein. You will feel the effects almost immediately. The dentist can adjust the level of sedation during the procedure, thus, controlling your level of awareness or sleep.
How Does Sedation Dentistry Work? Learn More by Visiting Your Dentist
How does sedation dentistry work? Learn more by visiting a dental office. A dentist can show you all treatment options available and help you restore your teeth and smile today.