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Feeling Stress-Free at Your Next Dental Visit Can Be Easier Than You Think. How? With Sedation Dentistry!

Does the thought of going to the dentist make the hairs on your neck stand up? Have you neglected your teeth because you dread the thought of being in a dental chair? Would you choose the agony of a toothache over dental treatment? Many people share these same fears about going to the dentist and end up ignoring their dental health because of them.

If you have dental anxiety, sedation dentistry could be a huge relief for you and could even make your dental visit, dare I say, enjoyable. Sedation dentistry can be used for simple hygiene appointments to larger procedures depending on the level of anxiety the patient feels.

So what types of Sedation Dentistry are available?

There are a few different levels:

  • The most minimal type of sedation will leave you feeling relaxed, but you are completely awake. 
  • A moderate level of sedation is where you will not remember the procedure at all, but you are actually awake, even though you may be groggy. This is many times called “conscious sedation”.
  • Deep sedation is where you are almost completely asleep, but you can be awoken if needed.
  • The highest level of sedation is where you are completely unconscious. This is called general anesthesia.

Let’s Take a Look at the Sedation Options Used by Dentists

Inhaled Sedation or Laughing Gas

You may have heard of the term “laughing gas.” This is a minimal form of inhaled sedation using a breathing mask placed over the nose. Nitrous oxide and oxygen and delivered through the mask and the gas allows you to relax and not worry about a thing. This form of sedation wears off very quickly.

Oral Sedation

Oral sedation is simply taking a prescribed drug before your dental procedure. Oral sedation can range from minimal to moderate depending on the type of drug and the amount prescribed. Halcion is probably the most well known oral sedation drug and it is very similar to Valium. You could fall asleep but easily awakened and relaxed. This is the most common type of sedation used in dentistry.

IV Sedation

Although IV sedation may sound more intense, it is actually only a moderate level of sedation. It is a drug that is received through a vein and is quick acting. This is a form of sedation that takes extra training for the dentist.

General Anesthesia

General anesthesia is a form of “deep sedation,” where the patient is unconscious. In this form of sedation, it is more difficult to wake the patient and either the anesthesia must slowly wear off or be reversed with other drugs. This form of sedation is the least used form in dentistry but is utilized for certain cases.

Speak to your dentist about the sedation options that his or her practice offers. You no longer need to fear the dentist office, you can relax and be care free for your next visit!

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