For some of us, going to the dentist may have been and still might be the greatest nightmare we’ve experienced. The thought of the drilling, cleaning and tweaking of our teeth may be so traumatic that we would not dare get a check up at all.
Unfortunately, if we continue to avoid the dentist, dental problems might become deeper and if this happens, we might be at risk of bigger dental procedures that are even more traumatic.
Luckily, the world of dentistry has heard the prayers of patients with anxiety. Today, sedation dentistry is available for those who have anxiety attacks during the trip to the dentist. But what exactly is sedation dentistry? And how does it work?
Also known as sleep dentistry, sedation dentistry uses pharmacological medication to help patients relax during the dental procedure. Sedation dentistry may be a good option for:
- People with dentist anxiety
- People with very sensitive teeth
- People with bad gag reflex
- People with low pain tolerance
- People who need a lot of dental work
Levels and Types of Sedation
The sedation levels could vary depending on the patient’s preference. The levels include the following:
- Minimal – Patient is awake but relaxed.
- Moderate – Patient may not remember much of the procedure, may even have slurred speech
- Deep – Patient is almost unconsciousness but can still easily be awakened
- General Anesthesia – Patient is completely unconscious
As for the types of sedation used in dentistry, these are following:
- Minimal sedation or “laughing gas”
For very minimal sedation, patients may be asked to inhale nitrous oxide with oxygen. A mask containing the gas will placed over your nose; it will help you relax. This type of sedation easily wears off after the procedure.
- Oral sedation
For moderate sedation, pills such as Halcion will be given. The pill will make the patient drowsy and groggy but still awake. For some people, this pill is enough to make them fall asleep throughout the procedure.
- Intravenous (IV) sedation
May also be applied for moderate sedation, sedation will be administered through your veins and thus, this method works faster. The dentist can adjust the level of sedation for this type.
- General anesthesia
For deep sedation, patients are given medications that will keep them barely conscious or definitely send them to sleep. However for general anesthesia, the patient cannot easily be awakened until the medication wears off.
Safety of Sedation Dentistry
Most dentists are allowed to administer minimal sedation to patients. However, experienced dentists are the only ones who can ensure safety when it comes to the deeper levels and types of sedation.
In order to ensure safety, make sure your dentist is qualified and certified. Fortunately, there are good quality doctors who perform sedation dentistry in Anchorage, AK.
Always make sure your dentist reviews your medical records before proceeding with the processes. Ask about the sedation that will be used in your procedure. Secure a form that contains the possible risks and effects of the sedation procedure as well.