Sedation Dentistry: Can You Really Relax in the Dentist's Chair?
Posted by McConnell Dental Care on Jan 2 2023, 11:54 PM
Dental anxiety is a common problem that many people face. As many as 75% of adults in the US report some degree of dental anxiety. Dental fear can cause people to delay or refuse to undergo necessary dental treatments.
People of all ages with different types of dental issues can benefit from sedation dentistry. At your initial consultation, your dentist can help you determine if sedation is right for you.
Some patients need extensive work in one visit, while others are able to tolerate a longer treatment plan spread over several appointments. Here are some of the most common reasons people choose sedation for dental treatments:
- Anxiety or fear of the dentist
- Need for multiple procedures to be done at once
- Physical limitations that make receiving dental care difficult – such as difficulty holding your mouth open for an extended period of time or physical disability that limits your ability to get around on your own
- Special needs that make receiving dental care challenging – such as patients with dementia or other cognitive disorders who have trouble sitting still through treatment
Types of Sedation
There are different types of sedation, and providers use a variety of methods to help patients feel relaxed during their visit. Methods range from nitrous oxide to oral sedatives. The common types of dental sedation are as follows:
- Nitrous Oxide: Inhalation sedation involves breathing in a mixture of oxygen and the sedative agent, which helps the patient to feel calm while providing pain relief. Laughing gas is administered through a mask worn over the nose. It works almost instantly to put you at ease and wears off quickly once the mask is removed.
- Oral Sedation: Oral sedation is taken in the form of a pill or liquid medication that takes effect quickly and helps to relax the patient during the appointment. Oral medication is taken about an hour before the appointment and serves to make you feel drowsy and relaxed by the time you arrive for your appointment. You will still be awake but relaxed and capable of following instructions from your dentist.
- Intravenous (IV) Sedation: With IV sedation, the sedative is administered directly into your bloodstream through an IV line. It acts more quickly than a pill or liquid and wears off faster as well. You’ll need to be monitored for a while because any complications from the procedure could arise quickly. IV sedation is often reserved for patients who are having multiple treatments at once or who are undergoing invasive procedures such as wisdom teeth removal.
Sometimes, nitrous oxide is combined with an oral sedative to maximize patient relaxation. Regardless of the type of sedation used, dentists want their patients to be comfortable and relaxed during appointments.
Schedule an appointment with McConnell Dental Care to learn more about sedation dentistry. Visit us at 263 Country Club Dr #102, Stansbury Park, UT 84074. Contact us at (435) 249-0482 or visit our website to book an appointment with us.