To Brave the Dentist’s Office, Consider the Use of These Sedation Techniques

Dental anxiety and phobia are nothing new. In fact, up to 40 million Americans possess an intense fear over going to the dentist, to the extent that they do everything to avoid it. As a result, they don’t get the oral care they need. If you’re among these millions of people, remember that you don’t always have to fear a visit to the dentist. There are ways to deal with your phobia or anxiety, one of which is sedation dentistry.

This method involves the use of medication to help patients relax during procedures. You remain awake throughout the treatment, unless you are receiving general anesthesia. With sedation dentistry, you don’t have to let your fear prevent you from getting the care you need.

There are different types of sedation dentistry, and you and your dentist can determine the best method for you.

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  • Inhaled Minimal Sedation

  • If you need to remain alert and functioning after a procedure, the inhaled minimal sedation might be best. Also known as “laughing gas,” this sedation method involves the inhalation of the combination of nitrous oxide and oxygen through a mask. The gas imparts a relaxing effect, and your dentist can control the amount applied. Because the gas wears off quickly, you can even drive home on your own after the procedure.

  • Oral Sedation

  • This type leaves a minimal to moderate effect, depending on the dose you received. It comes in the form of a pill, usually called Halcion. You need to take this an hour before your treatment. Once taken, the pill can make you drowsy, but awake. When you take a larger dose, however, you can fall asleep during the procedure, without making it difficult to wake you up.

  • Intravenous Moderate Sedation

  • For a quicker effect, dentists use intravenous moderate sedation. This involves a drug being injected through a vein, thereby affecting you immediately. Also, the dentist can adjust the sedation level whenever necessary.

  • General Anesthesia

  • Some patients undergo general anesthesia, which knocks them unconscious. With this, patients don’t have to see what’s happening during the procedure. They wake up once the anesthesia wears off or when the dentist gives them a medication to reverse it.

Going to the dentist can be like going to war for some people. It’s scary, but most of the time, necessary. These sedation methods can mollify you and your fears. Just ask your dentist about them to determine which one you should choose.






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