What is Sedation Dentistry?
Going to the dentist is widely regarded by people to be a frightening experience. They associate dental visits with pain and discomfort. As a result, many people visit their dentists less than once every six months, or they simply refuse to go at all.
Even if you brush your teeth twice a day, floss regularly, and use mouthwash, your dental health can deteriorate if you don’t visit your dentist at least twice per year. You may also suffer from underlying gum or tooth conditions that go undetected, and that may start to affect your general health after some time.
At 04 Dental, we use sedation dentistry to help our patients calm down and have a pleasant experience when they visit us. Sedation dentistry involves administering medication that either relaxes patients entirely or puts them to sleep for the duration of the procedure.
Many patients also prefer sedation, not because they are anxious, but because their teeth are sensitive or they have an overactive gag reflex. If you have a low pain threshold, you may also prefer sedation dentistry.
If you don’t visit the dentist as regularly as you should, it may be as a result of anxiety or discomfort, and sedation dentistry may be a suitable solution for you. Keep reading to learn more about the types of sedation and the benefits it has to offer.
Sedation Dentistry Benefits
Generally speaking, one of the most significant benefits of sedation dentistry is that it makes dental visits bearable and even pleasant. Since sedation dentistry first came about, dental visits are no longer the daunting experiences that they once were.
Below are some of the benefits of sedative dentistry:
- Gag Reflex Control: If you have a strong gag reflex, dental visits can be nothing short of a nightmare. With sedation dentistry, you will find it easier to have work done in your mouth without experiencing any involuntary reactions.
- Reduces Teeth Sensitivity: If your teeth are sensitive, the most straightforward dental procedure may be a painful and uncomfortable experience. By undergoing sedation, your sensitivity will be eliminated, and discomfort minimized.
- Comfort Throughout the Procedure: A dental procedure can be generally uncomfortable. Lying with your mouth open and feeling how your dental healthcare provider works on your teeth can be unpleasant. One of the benefits of sedation is that it minimizes these feelings of discomfort.
- Alleviates General Dental Anxiety and Fear: Dental phobia is common among patients from all backgrounds and demographics. Up to 20% of Americans avoid going to the dentist as the result of a subliminal fear. Sedation is one of the most effective solutions for reducing anxiety and fear while you undergo any dental procedure.
How it Works
Dental sedation uses a combination of medicines to help a patient relax or block pain. In the case of conscious sedation, the patient will be awake but may be unable to talk.
When you are under sedation, your breathing will slow down, your blood pressure may drop, and you may fall asleep.
In most cases, you will have to take a pill around an hour before your appointment. Depending on the degree of sedation, you may have to ask someone to drive you to the dentist. Some sedation medications can last for up to six hours, and your driving ability may be impaired.
If you are averse to dental procedures, your dental healthcare provider may use the opportunity to complete multiple procedures. The next day, you are not likely to feel any lasting effects of the sedation.
Types of Sedation
There are several types of sedation, and the most suitable type depends on your level of apprehension, your medical history, and the surrounding circumstances.
Nitrous oxide, or “laughing gas,” is the least invasive type of sedation and is often sufficient to put patients at ease before a procedure. Nitrous oxide is administered by placing a small device over the patient’s nose that feeds the gas into their airway. The patient will be awake throughout the procedure and will be able to drive home afterward.
One of the most popular types of dental sedation is the administration of prescription medication before a procedure. When you take sedation medication, you will be awake but completely relaxed. Oral-conscious sedation is often the most suitable for cosmetic dentistry as it works on a deeper level than nitrous oxide.
Some of our patients require high levels of sedation to undergo dental procedures. In cases like these, we work with reputable anesthetists who administer intravenous sedation while monitoring the patient’s heart rate, breathing, and blood pressure to ensure that they are entirely safe.
Side-effects to Sedation Dentistry
Generally speaking, sedation is a safe solution with minimal side effects. The most common side effects include nausea, dizziness, and decreased coordination.
Depending on your medical history, there may also be other side-effects, but your dental healthcare professional will take your medical conditions and history into account before administering sedation to ensure your safety.
Sedation Dentistry Reviews
Many patients that were sedated during a procedure describe the experience as relaxing, similar to sleeping. Lighter forms of sedation like nitrous oxide typically result in a “floating sensation.” Patients that underwent more severe sedation didn’t always remember their procedures and experienced impaired coordination for some time afterward.
Is Sedation Dentistry for You?
If you’re not sure if sedation dentistry is for you, the first thing you should do is consult with your dentist and discuss your options. If you’re generally anxious or uncomfortable during dental procedures, your dentist may be able to provide you with a viable dental sedation solution.
If you live in or around Austin, 04 Dental can provide you with pain-free dental work. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.
Monday: 7:30am – 4:00pm
Tuesday: 7:30am – 4:00pm
Wednesday: 7:30am – 4:00pm
Thursday: 7:30am – 4:00pm
Friday: 7:30am – 12:00pm
Schedule Your Appointment
Come meet our friendly and caring staff!