Sedation Dentistry: Nervous About Seeing Dentist?
Do you often find yourself second-guessing the decision to visit a dentist? You are not alone. Many people struggle with dental anxiety, which roots from traumatic events in their past. The idea of needles and painful experience can leave you hesitant about professional dental care.
Fortunately, that is not a battle you have to fight alone. Dental health today has a provision for patients to feel more at ease during dental treatments, thanks to sedation dentistry.
What Is Sedation In Dental Health?
It is the process of using sedatives to help perform dental works with ease and elevated effectiveness. Ideally, it involves the use of different types of sedatives, to foster relaxation and calmness during dental procedures. Sometimes the sedatives will put you to sleep, which is why it is sometimes referred to as sleep dentistry.
The first step to fighting dental anxiety is by visiting family-friendly dentistry that can properly handle you amidst a nerve-wracking situation. Besides that, your dentist will get you started in sedating medication that will help you sit still. The different levels of sedation are:
- Minimal sedation – is the primary go-to level of sedation for patients who are yet to undertake short and simple procedures. It will leave you awake and conscious of the procedure but relax instead of anxious.
- Moderate sedation – while you are conscious of your environment, you may slur your words during the treatment, and consequently, remember very little from your procedure. The sedatives will also keep you calm and relaxed throughout.
- Deep sedation – it is hard to hold on to your consciousness of the happenings of your treatment with deep sedation. However, you are still conscious but on the edge of things.
- General anesthesia – it is the deepest level of sedation where you fall into a deep sleep, rendering you unconscious of the treatment process.
Types of Sedation
The levels of sedation are more or less adjustable, depending on the type of sedative you get. The different types used in oral health care are:
- Inhaled sedation – a gas, commonly known as laughing gas, is passed through your nose via a face mask. This gas minimally sedated you so that you remain calm and relaxed during your treatment. The level of sedation can be adjusted by controlling the laughing gas and the oxygen percentage.
- Oral sedation – involves swallowing a pill a couple of minutes before your treatment. The prescription of the pills you take will determine the level of sedation, usually between minimal and moderate. In dentistry, this is the most common way for sedating patients for procedures.
- IV sedation – it is a faster way of getting medication through your system. The medication is injected into your veins, hence delivering the sedative direct to your bloodstream. It is the best form of sedation for conducting dental emergencies, as time is the essence of such treatments.
- General anesthesia – is the deepest form of sedation, you will fall into a deep sleep that is hard to wake up from. However, once the procedure is done, the attending dentist will give you another medication to counter the effects of general anesthesia. The use of general anesthesia may seem like an extreme measure but it is not. This sedation method is pretty useful for handling long surgical procedures that would require to have you to sit still for long hours.
Is Sedation Effective?
Sedation has been proved and tested as an effective way to help patients relax during teeth-related treatments.Still, regardless of the type of sedation used, you will need local anesthesia for numbing. This too works to improve your overall experience, by alleviating any pain and discomfort of the procedure.
The combination of local anesthesia and another type of sedation allows patients to calm their nerves for dental treatments. It, consequently, allows dentists to perform their best works without unnecessary movements and interruptions from nervous patients.
During this Corona-Virus pandemic, staying at home is the best way to stay safe for you and everyone around you. Only during dental emergencies should you consider visiting your dentist. If your anxiety tries to get the better part of you, remember that sedation in oral health is still a viable option to increase your comfort and boost your confidence in seeking treatment.