Sedation dentistry is also known as conscious sedation. This occurs when a patient is given sedatives to help them unwind prior to their dental procedure. The sedatives also reduce the patient’s stress level during the dental procedure. Sedatives have an impact on the central nervous system, slowing it down, so that the patient is not as aware of what is happening to them.
Sedation dentistry is particularly helpful for patients that are afraid of the dentist. Often, this includes young children. Because sedation dentistry is not familiar to many people, there are a lot of questions surrounding what it is and what happens during the procedure.
Below is a list of the questions that we hear most often regarding sedation dentistry.
1. How many people suffer from a fear of the dentist?
There are approximately ten million people in the United States that experience stress or anxiety when going to the dentist. At our practice, about half of our patients indicate that they have a fear of receiving dental care.
2. Why do people suffer from dental phobias?
There is no “rhyme or reason” to a phobia. People suffering from phobias try and stay away from whatever it is that causes them to feel stressed or anxious. With a dental phobia, then, an individual would avoid going to the dentist. People with dental phobias typically do not even want to schedule routine checkups.
3. How many kinds of sedation are there?
There are three kinds of sedation. Nitrous oxide helps patents relax but it is the most mild form of sedation. Oral sedation is the next step up. Finally, sleep dentistry sedation is when the patient is put to sleep using both sedatives and painkillers.
At our practice, we typically use a combination of oxygen and nitrous oxide, which the patient breathes in. This helps them to relax during the procedure so they are not worried about what is going on. In addition, it works well and it is very safe.
4. Is an anesthetic required in addition to oral sedation?
Conscious sedation helps the patient relax. However, it does not always eliminate the need for anesthesia. A patient can still feel some pain, even while under conscious sedation.
We are committed to quality care and to making sure that our patients have an enjoyable experience at our practice. We offer sedation dentistry to help those that are anxious about having dental care performed. If you have been avoiding the dentist because you feel anxious, get in contact with us so we can talk to you about your options. Sedation dentistry may be right for you and could help you get the dental care you need.