What To Know About Sedation Dentistry

If you haven't been to the dentist for a while because of anxiety or stress, you may be considering sedation dentistry. More and more clinics are offering sedation dentistry to help relieve stress and anxiety associated with visiting the dentists. This has allowed many patients to finally seek treatment, improving the overall health and look of their smiles. If you haven't tried sedation dentistry yet, check out these three facts.

Many Dentists Provide Inhalation Sedation

You've likely heard of inhalation sedation before. It's also known as nitrous oxide or "laughing gas." With inhalation sedation, the dentist places a breathing tube over your nose, which releases a mixture of oxygen and nitrous oxide. Your dentist will adjust the nitrous oxide level until you feel comfortable. As soon as you start inhaling the gas, it begins working to relax and sedate your mind and body. This type of sedation is the mildest form, but it is offered by most dentists. The biggest benefit of inhalation sedation over alternatives is the speed at which you recover. Once you stop inhaling the gas, your body immediately begins to flush it out of your system. You may be a little disoriented for a few minutes, but you can typically drive yourself home.

Stronger Forms of Sedation Are Available

If inhalation sedation isn't enough to help calm your nerves, there are stronger forms available. Oral sedation is a moderate sedative. With this type of sedation, you must take a pill before the appointment (typically from the Valium family or a similar sedative). In some cases, the dentist may also use inhalation sedation to maximize effects. A stronger form of sedation is IV-conscious. This may be used in conjunction with another form of sedation too. With IV-conscious sedation, an IV drip releases the sedative. For both these types of sedation, you'll need a designated driver because you may be drowsy before and/or after the procedure.

Sedation Makes the Visit Seem Surreal

If you choose sedation dentistry, it doesn't replace local anesthesia. You will still need an injection to numb the area. However, the sedation does help reduce some pain sensitivity. The biggest benefit of the sedation is that it makes the visit seem surreal like a dream. While they are not designed to make you fall asleep, you may fall asleep because they make you calm and relaxed. However, you can easily be roused when the dentist or dental assistant speaks to you. After the visit, you will have little memory.

If you are ready to go back to the dentist, but you don't want to be anxious about your visit, consider sedation dentistry. With sedation dentistry, your visit feels more like a dream than reality, but you are conscious and aware of what is happening. If you would like more information about sedation dentistry, contact your local family dentist services today.