For many, the thought of going to the dentist conjures up feelings of fear and dread. Sedation dentistry may offer relief if you find yourself rescheduling dental appointments or avoiding them altogether. Not only can it help alleviate your worries, but it can also make dental procedures more comfortable by reducing potential pain and discomfort.
Here’s what you need to know about sedation dentistry and how it can help you overcome your dentist fears.
What Is Sedation Dentistry?
Sedation dentistry is the use of medication or anesthesia for dental procedures. Dentists use it to help patients who fear needles or dislike having a dentist work on their teeth. Sedation is also necessary for more invasive or complex dental procedures, like wisdom teeth extractions.
Most dentists offer different types of sedation, and the level of sedation will differ for each patient depending on their needs.
The four main types of sedation used in dentistry are:
Also known as “laughing gas,” nitrous oxide is a gas you breathe in through a mask. It will help you relax and feel lightheaded, but you will still be awake and able to respond to questions.
This type of sedation uses a pill that you take before your appointment. It may make you drowsy or disoriented, but you will be awake. Medications like Valium are typically used for oral sedation.
IV sedation is administered through a vein and will make you feel drowsy or even asleep during your dental procedure. This method of sedation dentistry is reserved for more invasive procedures.
General anesthesia is typically only used for very complex procedures, like surgery. It will make you completely unconscious and unable to feel pain.
Pros and Cons of Sedation Dentistry
Like with anything, there are several pros and cons to sedation dentistry.
Some of the pros of sedation dentistry include the following:
- It can help you feel more at ease during your dental procedure.
- It can help you overcome your fear of needles or the dentist.
- It can help you get through a complex or invasive procedure with minimal discomfort.
- It can help you if you have a very sensitive gag reflex.
Some of the cons of sedation dentistry include the following:
- It can be expensive.
- It can have side effects like grogginess, nausea, or dizziness.
- It can be dangerous if you have certain medical conditions.
The benefits of sedation dentistry outweigh the risks, but it’s important to talk to your dentist about what’s right for you.
Is Sedation Dentistry Safe?
Yes, sedation is safe when performed by a trained and licensed professional. Of course, risks are associated with any medication or anesthesia, but they are minimal when a qualified dentist performs sedation dentistry.
If you have any medical conditions, let your dentist know before you undergo any sedation. That way, they can ensure medication or anesthesia is safe for you and adjust the dosage accordingly. In addition, if you’re on any medications, you should let your dentist know so they can take that into account.
Preparing for Your Sedation Dentistry Appointment
If you’ve decided that sedation dentistry is right for you, there are a few ways you can prepare for your appointment.
First, you need to find a dentist. Not all dentists offer this service, so you may need to do some research. Once you’ve found a qualified dentist, schedule a consultation appointment. At this time, you can ask them questions and ensure you’re comfortable with the dentist before moving forward with treatment.
Next, you must listen to your dentist’s instructions before your appointment. For example, your dentist may tell you not to eat or drink before your appointment. Or they may give you a sedative pill to take ahead of time.
Finally, someone must drive you home after your appointment. Sedation can make you feel dizzy and loopy, and it’s not safe for you to operate a vehicle. Have a friend or family member take the day off and stay with you until the effects of the sedation have worn off.
Is Sedation Dentistry Right for Me?
If you’re considering sedation dentistry, consider the pros and cons. Then, talk to your dentist about a treatment plan using sedation dentistry. They can give you more specific information based on your individual needs.
At First Class Smiles, we understand that many people fear dental procedures. That’s why we offer sedation dentistry in Des Plaines, IL, as an option for our patients. Our dentists want you to feel relaxed during your dental appointment to get the treatment you need. Contact us today to schedule a consultation. We’ll help you decide if sedation dentistry is right for you.