Are you afraid of going to the dentist? You're in good company if so. Millions of people have anxiety about going to the dentist, so they avoid doing it. The good news is that you don't have to suffer and let your dental health deteriorate because you're too afraid to make a dental appointment. Sedation dentistry is a technique that lets people with serious dental trepidation get the treatment they need.
What is Sedation Dentisty?
Sedation dentistry is a dental procedure where sedatives are used to relax and calm a patient while he or she undergoes dental work. For years, the typical method of sedative delivery was by IV injection, but you have nothing to worry about if you also dislike needles. Most of the time the sedatives are delivered orally. An IV will only be used in cases where heavy sedation is called for.
Is this General Anesthesia?
Sedation dentistry is different than general anesthesia. The biggest difference is that the patient stays conscious after the sedative has been delivered. This is useful for the dentist because it's easier to work when the patient can follow commands. Despite the fact that the patient never loses consciousness, few people remember the procedure. The other difference is that the sedatives aren't usually intended to eliminate pain while the dentist works. Generally, during a sedation dentistry procedure the patient is both sedated and injected with local anesthetics to eliminate pain.
There are tons of benefits to sedation dentistry. It keeps you calm and relaxed during your dental procedure, even if you would normally have a lot of fear. Sedation is very useful during long procedures as well. Most people don't remember the period of time when they were sedated. It might seem like only minutes have passed when in reality it took a few hours to complete the dental work. This also means that more work can be done in a single visit to the dentist. Many procedures that require multiple visits normally can be completed during one appointment if the patient is sedated.
Is This Right for You?
A lot of people have some kind of fear of going to the dentist; it's nothing to be ashamed of. Sedation dentistry is a great option for anybody with those kind of fears. It's also a good idea for children; in fact, it might be the only way a child can get dental work done. It's important to note that sedation isn't just a good idea for those who have fear. Even people who have no fear might enjoy the extra comfort that sedation can provide, or they might want to take advantage of the fact that sedation allows them to get more work done in a single visit. This means less time missed at work or school.
If you want your next dental appointment to be more relaxing and comfortable, give sedation dentistry a try. Most dentists can administer some level of sedation, though you might have to look around if you think you'll require heavy sedation. Don't put your dental health at jeopardy by avoiding the dentist; just ask about sedation and leave your fears at home.