Many people fear and dread their annual dentist appointments. However, avoiding regular dental checkups often leads to dental problems that go unchecked and develop into painful problems. Those problems then require more intensive dental work, which can be even more intimidating to those afraid of a dentist appointment. Fortunately, sedation dentistry has been developed specifically to help fearful patients feel more comfortable at the dentist. Sedation dentistry refers to a variety of different levels of sedation, relative to each person’s comfort. Read on to learn more about which sedation may be best for you, and how sedation can help you feel at ease while at the dentist.
Who Can Benefit from Sedation Dentistry?
Patients can have a variety of different reasons for wanting to be sedated during their dentist appointment. If any of these apply to you, you may consider sedation dentistry:
-The patient has a phobia related to dental procedures
-Someone had a bad experience with dental work in the past
-The patient has particularly sensitive oral nerves
-They have a small mouth that becomes sore during dental work
-Their body shows resistance to a local anesthetic
-The patient has a general anxiety disorder
Sedation dentistry is typically not offered for regular dental cleanings, X-rays, and routine care. If you have anxiety about those procedures, consult with your dentist for ways in which they can help you be put at ease.
The Levels of Sedation
Sedation can be adjusted according to the patient’s anxiety level and the intensity of the dental work. Generally, the levels of sedation are as follows:
-Minimal sedation: you are awake but relaxed
-Moderation sedation: you may find yourself slurring your words and not remembering most of the procedure
-Deep sedation: you are on the edge of consciousness, but can be awakened
–General anesthesia: you are completely unconscious
The Types of Sedation
Sedation is administered in various ways, depending on how much the patient will be sedated and what they are comfortable with.
-Inhaled minimal sedation: you inhale nitrous oxide or “laughing gas” and oxygen through a mask. This gas helps you relax and tends to wear off quickly.
-Oral sedation: oral sedation can range from minimal to moderate. In this case, you take a pill about an hour before the procedure, which makes you quite tired.
-IV moderate sedation: In this instance, you receive a sedative drug through a vein. This allows the sedation to be adjusted and take hold more quickly.
If you are interested in sedation dentistry, discuss with your dentist the best options for your upcoming dental procedure.
Keep Your Smile Healthy with Affinity
While these tips can help with some tooth and gum sensitivity issues, we know the best way of correcting the problem is to visit your dentist regularly. Affinity Dental, located in Catonsville, MD, has six dentists and provides a variety of services from pediatric dentistry to orthodontics. Affinity Dental is capable of meeting all your needs. With 170 combined years of treating a variety of dental needs, Affinity is committed to providing quality dental care. To get your teeth back into good health and make your smile bright, call us at 410-719-7900 or contact us online. For other useful tips on dental care follow us on Facebook and Twitter.