If you suffer from dental anxiety, or a fear of the dentist, sedation dentistry may be the answer. You certainly do not want to put off dental visits, this will just result in bigger dental problems with larger costs – down the line.
But what is sedation dentistry? There are many different types of sedation dentistry. There is oral medication (pill), Nitrous Oxide (gas), intravenous sedation — and combinations of each.
Levels of sedation include:
Minimal sedation: You are awake but relaxed; generally used for a patient that is just mildly fearful. This can be achieved through pills or Nitrous Oxide, also known as “laughing gas.” This is the only form of sedation where you can drive yourself to and from the office.
Oral sedation: Minimal sedation that is achieved through ingesting a pill. The pill is usually taken an hour before your dental procedure and will make you drowsy, but you will still be aware.
Depending on the dose of oral medication given, one can achieve a range from minimal to moderate sedation. While oral sedation offers a deeper level of relaxation than Nitrous Oxide, it is difficult to adjust the level since the pill does not take effect immediately.
Intravenous sedation: This is the greatest development for fearful dental patients. You will receive sedative drugs through a vein, which goes into effect quickly and can be adjusted continually. You are very relaxed, but still conscious enough to maintain your protective reflexes, respond to stimulation, and breathe on your own.
Another type of intravenous sedation under general anesthesia. While under general anesthesia you are unconscious, and not responsive to any stimulation. You are intubated and your breathing is assisted by a ventilator.
For more information on Sedation Dentistry contact Today’s Dental of Boxborough.
Excerpts – Palm Beach Post