Does the thought of visiting the dentist make you anxious or fearful? You’re not alone. Dental anxiety is a common issue that prevents many people from seeking essential dental care. Fortunately, dental sedation offers a safe and effective solution for those who experience fear or discomfort during dental procedures.
Let’s explore everything you need to know about dental sedation, the different types, benefits, and safety considerations.
What is Dental Sedation?
Dental sedation involves using medication to help patients relax during dental procedures. It is commonly used for patients with dental phobia, anxiety or those undergoing complex or lengthy treatments. The effects of oral sedation can range from mild relaxation to deep unconsciousness, depending on the type of sedation used by your dentist and the patient’s individual needs.
What Are the Different Types Of Dental Sedation?
1. Nitrous Oxide:
Nitrous oxide, or “laughing gas,” is a mild form of sedation. The doctor will administer a mixture of nitrous oxide and oxygen through a mask that covers your nose. Once you breathe it in, you will feel relaxed and experience delayed reactions in your movement and speech. However, you will be conscious enough to hear and respond to all the dentist’s instructions throughout the procedure.
2. Oral Sedation
Oral sedation is another form of sedation that dentists use to keep you calm during treatment. For oral sedation, you will be given Benzodiazepine, also known as Vallum, Halcion, and Xanax, in the form of a tablet, which reduces the amount of activity in the areas of the brain associated with anxiety and fear. This puts you in a relaxed mood and allows the dentist to perform the dental procedure without causing you any stress.
3. IV Sedation
IV sedation, or conscious sedation, is the most advanced and deepest form of dental sedation. It is delivered intravenously through a thin needle that your dental anesthesiologist or dentist inserts into your arm or the back of your hand. There are different levels of IV sedation used depending on your needs, health, and the nature of the procedure you will be undergoing. Some common IV sedation medications are Propofol, Midazolam, and Fentanyl.
Sedatives Are Different from Anaesthetics
There is a common misconception that sedatives and anaesthetics are the same, but they are two very different drugs. While sedatives are used to put you in a relaxed mood, anaesthetics are used to numb your senses so that you do not feel any pain during your dental procedure. Another difference between the two drugs is that an anaesthetic will make you unconscious while a sedative will keep you awake, but you will be in a more relaxed state.
How To Prepare for Dental Sedation
Book An Appointment with The Dentist
Schedule a consultation with a dentist to discuss your dental sedation options. The dentist will evaluate your medical history, current health status, and the complexity of the procedure to recommend the most suitable type of sedation for you.
Follow Fasting Instructions
If your dentist recommends oral or IV sedation, you will likely be instructed not to eat or drink anything for a specific period before the procedure. Following these fasting instructions is essential to prevent any potential complications during sedation.
Make Travel Arrangements
Since dental sedation may impair your ability to drive or operate machinery, arrange for a friend or family member to accompany you to and from the dental office. This ensures your safety and well-being after the procedure.
Dental sedation has revolutionized the dental experience for many patients, enabling them to receive vital dental care without fear or anxiety. Dental sedation offers a solution to those who once avoided the dentist’s chair, whether it’s a routine check-up or a more complex procedure. By choosing the appropriate type of sedation and working with a qualified dental professional, patients can achieve better oral health while feeling calm and at ease.If you have any queries about sedation dentistry or want to book an appointment, contact us at Northern Peaks Dental. We provide effective, efficient, affordable dental care in a safe and comfortable atmosphere. Our empathetic and highly skilled team is committed to ensuring your well-being throughout your dental journey. With several years of experience providing quality care, they have helped many individuals overcome their dental anxieties and maintain optimal oral health.