Dental Sedation – All About Your Options
If you experience anxiety about the pain associated with a dental procedure, you may want to learn more about what’s commonly called ’sleep dentistry’. There are several different styles of dental sedation; some involve sleep, and others do not. In this post, we will explore some of your options so you can have an informed conversation with your dentist about dental sedation.
Dental Sedation – All You Need to Know.
Dental sedation is a blanket term and covers a variety of dental techniques used to calm a patient before and during their dental procedure. You’ve probably heard of laughing gas, which is commonly used in procedures like root canals. The field of dental sedation, however, is a more complex and varied than just laughing gas, and provides a wealth of options for patients who experience fear and anxiety about their procedure.
Dental sedation is not considered a component of the pain management your dentist provides. Shots in the gum and numbing agents are part of the procedure. That being said, if the thought of receiving a shot in your gums is horrifying, your dentist can use dental sedation to calm your fears to the point the shot is less frightening. Some newer types of sedation do not induce sleep, but you will not likely remember the procedure.
Types of Sedation Dentistry
Laughing gas, also known as Nitrous Oxide, is commonly used to let patients relax during their dental procedures. Dental gas doesn’t put you to sleep and wears off quickly once you stop breathing it. Another advantage of laughing gas is that patients can drive themselves home after their procedure.
Laughing gas is delivered through a nose apparatus through which you breathe the gas. You will feel the effects very quickly, and they are quite mild. Some patients experience a deep level of relaxation enough with laughing gas and don’t require other forms of sedation.
Oral sedation, which is also called ‘conscious sedation’ is becoming a more popular option for anxious dental patients. It involves taking a prescribed does of sedative before your procedure. You may be given a dose to take the night before, or you might be given the treatment right before the procedure. This form of pain management leaves you awake during the procedure, but most patients remember very little of the time they are sedated. You will most likely be sleepy after the procedure, so make sure you have someone there who can give you a ride home.
IV sedation is a very effective form of sedation dentistry and has a few variations. The first, known as ’Twilight’, leaves you awake but you will be unconcerned about your surroundings and circumstances. The second variety puts you to sleep during the procedure. Both will leave you unable to remember any part of the procedure.
Another option is general anesthesia, although it is not commonly used by most dentists. If you require significant oral surgery or are resistant to other types of sedation will this be presented as an option for you. This kind of sedation is only offered in a hospital as you need highly trained and experienced anesthesiologists administering the sedation and monitoring your vital signs.
What Kind of Sedation Can Dentists Give?
Your dentist is likely able to provide you with laughing gas and oral sedation pills. Some dentists are certified for the twilight type of IV sedation, but the training a dentist must go through is intense and time-consuming. For that reason, some dentists have a certified dental anesthesiologist on their staff.
Do I Need Sedation Dentistry?
The best way to find out more about sedation dentistry options is to talk with your dentist before scheduling your dental work. Your dentist can recommend the type of sedation that is best for your specific case. If you have sensitive nerves, anxiety, or fears about your dental requirements, you are a likely candidate for sedation dentistry.
Dental sedation is becoming a common and popular way to conquer anxiety and fear. Don’t delay your dental work; you can relax knowing your options.