Dental anxiety is a common occurrence among many patients. While this could stem from a number of reasons, it’s safe to say that everyone would rather be comfortable in the dental office. Sedation and anesthesia provide the aid needed to allow patients with high dental anxiety receive the care they need to maintain a beautiful smile.
Methods of Sedation
Sedation is administered using different methods, some of which can be combined to create an enhanced level of relaxation. These methods include:
Nitrous oxide, also known as laughing gas, is an inhalant that is breathed through a mask to induce relaxation at the point of the procedure. This method is entirely safe, and the nitrous oxide is absorbed and expelled by the body quickly.
Oral Sedation involves the patient ingesting a pill that causes relaxation anywhere between an hour to a couple hours after being taken. The drug is generally Halcion but can be any variation to Valium. This method allows the individual to remain awake during the procedure but must arrange transportation before and after treatment.
Intravenous (IV) Sedation is a sedative administered through the veins for an immediate effect. This method is valued by many for its ability to induce relaxation in the fastest time.
Levels of Sedation
Dentists have the option of choosing different levels of sedation to accommodate each individual, which include:
- Nitrous as mild sedation means a patient is completely awake and able to answer questions from the doctor while feeling subtle relaxation.
- Oral conscious as moderate sedation may cause a person to feel drowsy but otherwise, allows them to remain awake during the procedure.
- IV medication as deep sedation causes an individual to drift in and out of light sleep. Patients generally experience amnesia, which is often good for those who are anxious about dental care.
- General Anesthesia is administered by a licensed anesthesiologist and usually means that a patient is completely unconscious during the procedure and cannot respond to questions.
Patients can also receive a topical anesthetic that provides relief against potential pain during a procedure.
Find out about your options for alleviating dental anxiety with sedation-assisted services by calling or visiting our practice. Schedule a consultation with Dr. Hugh Allen and receive necessary dental care while remaining comfortable and relaxed.