Despite an emphasis on patient education and new-age techniques, a large majority of individuals continue to fear going to the dentist. In fact, many avoid going to the dentist altogether. Fortunately, sedation dentistry can be used for everything from invasive dental procedures to a simple tooth cleaning, as explained by WebMD. Contrary to what some believe, it’s possible to relax in the dentist’s chair.
To explain, sedation dentistry uses medication to help patients relax. Depending on the level of a patient’s fear and the procedure being performed, sedation is offered at different levels. For instance, inhaled minimal sedation is a form of nitrous oxide that is commonly referred to as “laughing gas.” Administered through a mask placed over the nose, this form of sedation simply takes the edge off for patients with mild dental anxiety. Following the dental procedure, the mask is removed and the patient may drive home, as this form of sedation wears off quickly.
Another option is oral sedation, which includes a pill that is taken approximately one hour prior to treatment. Though a patient will be drowsy, he or she will be awake. An oral sedative is a more versatile form of sedation, because it can be adjusted to provide both minimal and moderate relaxation. In either case, however, a patient is not permitted to drive home following a dental procedure.
For invasive dental treatments, including surgery, a moderate form of sedation can be given through an IV. Depending on the procedure, general anesthesia is also an option.
Experience Gentle, Compassionate Dentistry at Grateful Dental
At Grateful Dental, it’s our mission to serve patients with a gentle, compassionate approach. Yet, we understand that some individuals experience extreme phobias and difficulties that make going to the dentist unbearable. Some of these include having very sensitive teeth, a bad gag reflex or a low pain threshold. Whatever your fears may be, we invite you to call Grateful Dental today to discuss options for sedation dentistry with our lead dentist, Dr. Leia Porcaro.