Many people do not visit the dentist for regular check-ups because they are too scared or have dental anxiety. Sedation dentistry offers a way to provide a safe, anxiety-free, dental experience to those who are afraid of visiting the dentist.
Sedation dentistry is often mistakenly thought to induce sleep. In fact, most sedatives allow for the patient to be awake during the procedure. Sleepiness is a side effect of some medications, but nitrous oxide, oral conscious sedation and IV sedation only work to calm anxiety throughout the dental visit.
Sedation dentistry is popular because most sedatives can be taken orally, meaning no injections, anxiety or pain. Some sedatives work so well that even the smells and details of the procedure cannot be recognized afterwards.
Here are some advantages associated with sedation dentistry:
- Anxiety is alleviated
- More can be accomplished during each visit
- No pain
- Perfectly safe
- Procedures seem to take less time
What kinds of sedatives are available?
The most widely used dental sedatives are nitrous oxide, oral conscious sedation, and IV sedation. Different levels of sedation (mild, moderate and deep) can be utilized depending on the patient’s needs. Before using any sedative, the dentist must analyse the medical history of the patient, as well as taking note of any current medications.
Here is an overview of some of the most common types of dental sedatives:
Oral Conscious Sedation
Oral conscious sedation is a good alternative for people who don’t like needles. Oral medication is provided prior to treatment in order to induce a moderate state of sedation. Though oral sedatives do not cause sleep, they usually dull the senses. Most patients cannot remember the pain, smells or sounds associated with the procedure. Usually, a dose of medication is taken before the appointment, and then topped up during the procedure as required.