For many people, the idea of visiting the dentist is one of the most terrifying things that they could do. If you are someone who feels this way, you will know just what a tough thing it is to try and get around. You know that you need to look after your oral health as well as possible, but when you literally feel unable to go to the dentist, what are you supposed to do? There are actually a few options that you can consider to try and make your dental phobia a little less pronounced, or at least to find ways to work around it, and in this article we are going to take a look at some of the best. These are all types of sedation dentistry which you might be able to make use of in order to have whatever procedure you need to have done.
What Is Sedation Dentistry?
First of all, let’s look at a brief definition of just what sedation dentistry actually is. In simple terms, it is any kind of method through which you are sedated or put to sleep in order to have your dental work carried out. For many people, this is a wonderful solution, especially if they have a particularly strong phobia of the dentist and this is the only way that they can actually get into the chair to have the necessary work done. You might have to often find a specific dentist who is happy to do it, or if you are lucky your current dentist might oblige with some kind of sedation. What’s more, there are many types of sedation dentistry that you might be able to make use of, as we will see below.
Who Is Sedation Dentistry For?
Generally, sedation dentistry is used for those patients who are especially nervous or afraid of going on to the dentist’s chair. Some people have a real phobia when it comes to the dentist, and if it is severe enough that they are simply unable to overcome it by will power alone, then sedation is sometimes a better option, so that they can at least continue to go to the dentist and have the necessary oral work done. It is clearly far preferable to simply allowing your dental hygiene to fall by the wayside, and for many people it is only because of this kind of dentistry that they are able to keep looking after their teeth properly at all. If you think it might be for you, ask around and see if you can find an appropriate dentist in your area.
Types Of Sedation
What types of sedation are most frequently used in order to put a patient under before working on them? There are actually many types, and the one used is going to vary based on a number of different factors that you might need to consider. Some of the most common kinds of sedation are as follows.
- Inhaled Minimal Sedation. This is where the patient is made to breathe nitrous oxide, the substance sometimes otherwise known as laughing gas, combined with oxygen. This is breathed through a mask and the gas helps you to relax significantly. One benefit of this is that the dentist can control how sedated you are very easily, and to a very fine degree, so if you just need to go partially under then this can be a good way to make sure of that. Also, because it tends to wear off quite fast, you can often drive yourself home after using this kind of sedation, which might make things a lot easier for many people.
- Oral Sedation. With oral sedation, you might have only a minimal form of sedation, or you might be put entirely to sleep, depending on the amount and type used. It is this flexibility which makes it a popular option amongst dentists, and it can also be a very simple means of sedation too. At the lower end, it might just be taking a pill like Halcyon about an hour before the procedure. That’s a bit like taking a Valium, and it means you will be drowsy but ultimately awake during the procedure. Of course, you can take a larger dose for more sedation.
- IV Sedation. With this kind of sedation, you simply receive the drug in question through an IV drip, which goes straight into your vein, thereby ensuring that it is brought about more quickly. This method will have the benefit of allowing the dentist to continually adjust how sedated you are throughout the procedure.
- General Anesthesia. With this kind of sedation, you are given medication that completely puts you to sleep, although the term ‘sleep’ is not entirely accurate for what happens to you here. You are completely unconscious, to the degree that when you awake you are not going to feel that any time passed at all. This is what is used in a wider sense in the world of medicine in general when a patient is having some kind of major surgery.
Can Any Dentist Sedate A Patient?
Most dentists are able to perform some kind of sedation, although your dentist might not be able to have every option on this list. In general, every dentist has the ability and capacity to perform minimal sedation like nitrous oxide, while only some can give the moderate sedation types. But only a small number of dentists are able to give you general anesthesia or deep sleep sedation. To do so, they need to have completed the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA) program.
Is Sedation Dentistry Safe?
If you get the full anesthesia, it’s important to remember that there is always some level of risk involved. But it is normally entirely safe to have any of these kinds of sedation as long as they are administered by an experienced dentist. Be sure to find a dentist with a good background, a strong reputation, and ultimately make sure that it is someone you feel you can trust. That is going to make the whole experience much better for you, with less of a chance of negative outcomes.