If you’re experiencing pain or anxiety when visiting the dentist, there are many sedation options dentists use to calm patients down. Sedation dentistry can use things like laughing gas or general anesthesia to reduce anxiety or pain. If you want to find out more, contact us to discuss options at Keswick Dental Center.
What is sedation in dentistry?
The primary purpose of dental sedation is to reduce pain, fear, and anxiety, both before and during a dental procedure. There are various techniques used in dental sedation, ranging from using nitrous oxide (laughing gas) to general anesthesia. The most common method you’ve probably heard of is probably laughing gas, which many professionals will use for crown placement or root canal procedures.
However, dental sedation is not the primary method of numbing pain during dental procedures. For this, you’ll get a numbing agent or shot to your gums. But if you’re scared of getting shots to your gums, sedation can help you get over this fear, so that you can receive the shot.
Patients will commonly receive sedation at the dental office. You can communicate any fears or phobias you have about dental procedures with your dentist, and they will sedate you with a technique suitable for you.
The different sedation options
One of the frequently used methods in sedation dentistry is a nitrous oxide (laughing gas). In dentistry, inhalation is the main form of administering laughing gas, where your lungs will absorb it through diffusion.
Laughing gas is safe, acts quickly, and is also quick to wear off. Patients administered only with laughing gas are allowed to drive home after a dental procedure. In some cases, dentists will use a combination of nitrous oxide and other sedatives for a greater effect.
Patients may also receive sedation orally, using a pill or liquid, which is called oral or enteral sedation. IV sedation consists of injecting the sedative directly into the vein. This will lead to a more profound effect and a longer recovery time. For sedation with general anesthesia, you will not be awake for the entire dental procedure, and the drug will go directly into your vein.
Is dental sedation suitable for me?
Dental sedation is best suited for people suffering from severe anxiety or pain due to a dental condition. However, your dentist will have to consider other aspects of your health before determining if dental sedation is appropriate for you. You should consult with your dentist and disclose any health conditions you have so that they can select the most appropriate form of sedation.
Conditions you must disclose to your dentist include hypertension, respiratory diseases, cardiac diseases, and diabetes. Your dentist should always do a physical examination and a thorough evaluation of your medical history prior to sedation. In some cases, patients may need to produce medical clearance from their physician.
If you’re very anxious or fearful of dental procedures, sedation dentistry could help you. You can contact us at Keswick Dental Center to discuss sedation options and see which procedure is safe for you.
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