Dental fear and anxiety is common in many people and often causes them to put off their treatments or cleanings for years. Most people who are afraid of visiting the dentist are anxious because of bad past experiences or they are worried about discomfort during their treatments. However, dentistry has come a long way over the past few years and procedures are now more gentle than ever before. This being said, most dental practices also offer their patients sedation options to help them ease anxiety and block sensations of pain. If you have been putting off your dental treatments due to fear, consider asking your doctor about their sedation options!
Types of Dental Sedation
- Oral Sedation
Administered via pill form, patients will take this sedation a few hours before their procedure and then again just before it starts. Oral sedation puts patients in a relaxed and calm state. While you won’t fall asleep, many patients do not even remember their treatments! You will need someone to drive you to and from your dental treatments however, as the effects from oral sedation can linger even after the treatment is complete.
- Nitrous Oxide
Often caused laughing gas, nitrous oxide is a colorless and odorless gas that is administered via a mask worn over the nose during treatment. This sedation quickly goes into effect and can make patients feel relaxed. Once your treatment is over and the mask is removed, patients will quickly return to normal.
- IV Sedation
This advanced form of sedation is administered intravenously for maximum effect. Many patients feel as if they fall asleep during their treatment when under the effects of IV sedation, then they wake up with everything completed! This sedation option requires advanced training is and often used during surgical procedures like dental implants
- General Anesthesia
The most advanced level of sedation available, patients are often put under general anesthesia in hospital-based settings. You will be closely monitored by your doctor and may even have a professional anesthesiologist perform the sedation themselves.
- Local Anesthetic
While not officially a form of sedation, local anesthetic is often used in conjunction with other sedation options. Local anesthetic is applied to the area of the mouth where a procedure is to take place and it effectively numbs the area. This will allow your doctor to perform procedures on you without you feeling discomfort. Most patients simply feel a slight pressure in their mouth.
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