Does the thought of having a dental procedure give you anxiety? Sedation Dentistry can help put your worries at ease!
Sedation dentistry is a common practice of providing medication or anesthesia while a patient undergoes a dental procedure. It is no surprise that according to WebMD, between 9% and 20% of Americans avoid going to the dentist due to fear of having dental procedures done. However, fear of something is often caused by not knowing the outcome of a situation or from having a bad experience. Thanks to the many benefits of sedation dentistry, the anxiety of going to the dentist can be relieved in a variety of ways.
Professionals who provide sedation dentistry outline the benefits of applying anesthesia as well as what you can expect to experience with the different levels of sedation. One of the main benefits of using sedation during a dental procedure is to alleviate the overall stress for the patient while the dental hygienist or dentist pick away inside the patient’s mouth. An important factor for patients to keep in mind is that most medications given during general dental visits can cause patients to feel sleepy or relaxed, and pose no risks of negative side effects.
The most common form of sedation used by dentists is referred to as minimal sedation and is administered by having the patient inhale a combination of nitrous oxide and oxygen (aka, “laughing gas”) through a mask. The amount of sedation the patient receives is given by the dentist based on the amount of anxiety and the amount of expected pain that may be involved in the procedure the patient undergoes. Dental patients are usually awake during a general dental visit when minimal anesthesia is given and are even allowed to drive after their visit as the medication wears off quickly.
Another benefit of sedation dentistry is that it helps dentists provide dental care services to special needs patients easily without causing the patient alarm and preventing any unnecessary anxiety for their caregivers. Special needs patients are frequently given minimal to moderate sedation medication. The type of moderate medicine commonly used by dentists is called Halcium, which is taken orally and is given to patients in the form of a pill an hour prior to the dental appointment. Medication like Halcium can make patients drowsy and at larger doses can cause people to feel groggy enough to fall asleep during their procedure, making them calm and peaceful during the entire dental procedure.
Dentists recommend patients who are undergoing procedures like dental reconstructive surgery, cosmetic dentistry, wisdom tooth removal, and other invasive procedures to use the most aggressive form of dental anesthesia, which is referred to as deep sedation. Deep sedation dentistry is given to the patient by IV (intravenous therapy), and causes patients to sleep during their entire dental procedure, feeling no pain at all. All in all, dental patients benefit from sedation dentistry in many positive ways, and this fact should serve as a comfort to all people who live in fear of going to the dentist.
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