Many people suffer anxiety about going to the dentist. If you have been avoiding the dentist because you feel nervous about going, consider asking your dentist about sedation dentistry. With sedation dentistry, you stay calm and relaxed during treatment. Check out these five frequently asked questions regarding sedation dentistry.
What Types Are Available?
The most common types of sedation dentistry include inhalation, oral and IV conscious sedation. Inhalation sedation is nitrous oxide. During treatment, you wear a mask over your nose, which provides you with a mixture of oxygen and nitrous oxide. Oral sedation requires you to take a pill before treatment, so during treatment, you are relaxed and calm. Finally, IV conscious sedation uses an IV with sedatives to help relax you. Inhalation sedation is the lightest form while IV conscious is stronger.
What's The Benefit?
The benefit of sedation dentistry is that it makes the entire experience feel unreal. This helps reduce the stress, and anxiety patients often feel at the dentist. After the treatment, you will likely have little to no memory of the procedure. Because patients feel less anxiety at each visit, they are also more likely to come back because they don't have that same dread when it's time to make an appointment.
Are You Awake During the Procedure?
Most forms of sedation are conscious sedation, which means they are not designed to put you to sleep. However, a side effect is drowsiness, so it is not uncommon for patients to fall asleep. However, you will easily be roused when prompted by the dentist. Patients are aware of what is happening around them, and what they are doing, so they won't do anything they normally wouldn't. For major procedures, such as surgery, unconscious sedation is available, but it is expensive, and you'll need an anesthesiologist.
Can You Feel Anything?
When you choose sedation dentistry, the sedative doesn't replace the Novocain. Your dentist will still numb the area, so you do not feel any pain. However, some people are still sensitive to the sensations of drilling, filing, etc., and other patients may have had painful experiences in the past that make them worry it might happen again. The sedation helps boost the anesthetic effects of the Novocain because you feel less pain.
Will You Need a Driver?
If you choose nitrous oxide, you won't need a designated driver. Nitrous oxide only affects you while it is in your system, and it is immediately flushed out of your system once you stop inhaling it. With oral sedation, you take the pill before you leave for the dentist so that you may feel the effects. Therefore, it is important to have someone to drive you to the dentist and back home. Last, with IV conscious sedations, you'll be too drowsy to drive after the procedure, so you'll also need a designated driver.
Don't avoid going to the dentist just because you have anxiety. Getting regular cleanings and treatments is the best way to keep your smile healthy. For more information, contact a general dentist in your area today to see if they offer sedation dentistry.