Sedation Dentistry

How Sedation Dentistry Can Ease Your Dental Anxiety

Nov 01, 2019

Visiting a dentist to have your oral health in check should be commended. More people should get into the habit. However, dental anxiety is one of the main reasons why people fret from going to a dentist. Something about sitting on a dentist’s chair is nerve-racking. Very few people, including adults, can hold still while the dentist examines and works on their teeth.

It is expected that anxiety would come up during your dental visits. Some of the treatments offered can be painful and uncomfortable. However, should that be a reason enough to keep you away from a dental clinic, office or lab?

What is Sedation Dentistry?

Sedation dentistry is concerned with using special medication to help patients relax and stay calm while on the dentist’s chair. It is at times referred to sleep dentistry. It is however not to say that patients are asleep through the process. Unless under general anesthesia, patients are wide awake and relaxed through the dental treatments. Usually, sedation dentistry will put a patient in a calm mode during the dental procedures. This will help keep the body still as the dentist works on the teeth.

What Types of Sedation Are Used in Dentistry?

Depending on the amount of work that needs to get done on a patient, a dentist will determine which type of
sedation in dentistry at Pearland, TX, to use. The different types of sedations differ according to the effect they have on the patient. Among the types include:

  • 1. Inhaled minimal sedation – minimal sedation ensures that a patient is awake during the procedure, but very relaxed. The sedative is inhaled, hence the name. The dentist will place a mask over the nose of the patient. The patient then has to breathe in laughing gas. This gas helps you relax and wears off quickly. A dentist will control the amount of gas you inhale. After the procedure, you are even safe to drive yourself back home.
  • 2. Oral sedation – oral sedation varies in strength based on the amount of dosage given. In some instances, the effects can be mild, but moderate in others. For moderate sedation, the patient is drowsy, and may not remember much about the procedure. However, they are still conscious of the treatment. Your dentist will give you a pill, an hour before the procedure. This is the most common type of sedation in dentistry. For some patients, however, moderate sedation can weigh them down to sleep. The sleep is not usually deep, and he/she can be easily woken up by a slight shake.
  • 3. IV moderate sedation – this sedative is administered through the veins. It ensures the sedation process works faster. This way, the dentist can easily control and adjust the levels of sedative you receive.
  • 4. General anesthesia – it entails deep sedation. The patient under the sedative is often almost unconscious, or totally unconscious. The patient is laid to a deep sleep that cannot be awakened unless the anesthesia wears off. In some cases, a dentist might have to induce reverse medication to counter the effects of the anesthesia after the procedure. General anesthesia is used for surgical dental procedures that take longer to perform.
  • 5. Local anesthesia – for each of the types of sedation types mentioned above. The dentist has to use local anesthesia for numbing. This is specifically for the area being treated. It helps deal with the pain of the procedure.

Who Qualifies for Sedation at the Dentist’s Clinic?

Your dentist is always in charge of deciding whether or not sedation is a good idea for you. Some of the instances include:

  • 1. When undergoing a surgical procedure – all surgical procedures are delicate and require the utmost stillness. This might not be possible when a patient realizes drilling, cutting and removing may be part of the deal. For such, sedation is necessary.
  • 2. Patients with low pain threshold – some patients are more pain tolerant than others.
  • 3. Very sensitive teeth – sensitivity in teeth can cause a response from the body that might interrupt the procedure.
  • 4. When the patient can’t sit still – if anxiety is creeping too much, fidgeting and shaking can occur.
  • 5. Bad gag reflex – gag reflexes can be dangerous when a dentist is working on your teeth. Sedation can help reduce the tension and pressure in your body and mind to help control the reflexes.


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