Many patients experience extreme anxiety when it comes to visiting the dentist for complex procedures. Performing dental work on patients who are anxious can be difficult for both the dentist and the patient. That’s where sedation dentistry comes into play.
What is Sedation Dentistry?
Sedation dentistry helps turn a painful, uncomfortable, and difficult experience into a pleasant one. This is done by administering sedative drugs to the patient moments prior to their surgery or procedure. Some dentists find it difficult to perform a procedure for clients with anxiety without sedation. This is because those patients typically tend to cringe or move around often, which can slow down and even complicate the procedure.
Different Types of Sedation Dentistry
There are several different types of sedation dentistry available to patients who visit our office. The different types of sedation dentistry that are offered include:
- Oral sedation – the use of oral sedative pills, like Valium or Ativan, are used to calm a patient before a dental procedure. If a single pill is taken, a minor sedative effect will be produced, two pills can produce a more moderate sedative effect on the patient.
- Nitrous oxide or inhaled minimal sedation – patients breathe in a gas known as nitrous oxide. This gas has a calming effect that helps to relieve anxiety. Nitrous oxide is an extremely common form of sedation dentistry that is used both in general dentistry and cosmetic dentistry.
- IV sedation – a sedation drug is administered through an IV so it goes directly into the vein. Administering the drug directly into the vein allows a dentist to control the level of sedation. An IV sedation is usually used to produce moderate sedation.
Factors to Consider When Using Sedation For Your Procedure
The type of sedation you will need will vary depending upon what type of dental procedure is being performed and your personal comfort level. Choosing the right sedation method will be determined by you and your dentist or periodontist. Some factors that will be used to help determine what type of sedation you need for an upcoming procedure include:
- Length of time the dental procedure will take – some dental procedures, such as placement of dental implants, can take an hour and a half to two hours to complete
- Number of dental procedures being performed – sometimes dentists will perform several dental procedures at one time in order to save time and minimize discomfort
- Patient’s anxiety levels
- Patient’s previous experience with dental procedures – for example, a patient who has a severe gag reflex may want to consider sedation dentistry, as it will help minimize any difficulties during the procedure
Before undergoing any dental procedure, dentists will often have a consultation with the patient. During the consultation, the dentist will ask several questions to help determine the patient’s comfort level. This assessment will help the dentist see what level of sedation to recommend for an upcoming dental procedure.
Sedation Dentistry Doesn’t Put You to Sleep
Sedation dentistry is often called sleep dentistry, but that is an inaccurate description. Sedation dentistry may make you feel drowsy or sleepy, but you are completely conscious. If you do happen to fall asleep, you can be awoken with a slight shake.
Nervous About Going to the Dentist? Call Vero VIP Implants and Periodontics
If you suffer from dental anxiety, Vero VIP Implants and Periodontics can help. Our Vero Beach dentist has extensive experience with sedation dentistry. Currently, patients who visit Vero VIP Implants and Periodontics have three options available for sedation: oral sedation, IV sedation, and nitrous oxide sedation.
Contact our office today to schedule an appointment for a consultation. During your next consultation, our dentist will discuss the different types of sedation dentistry available and help you determine which one is right for you.