A significant number of Americans do not visit the dentist for regular checkups because they are too fearful or suffer from dental anxiety. Sedation dentistry offers an excellent way to provide a safe, anxiety-free, dental experience to those who are afraid of the dentist.
Sedation dentistry is often mistakenly thought to induce sleep. In fact, most sedatives allow the patient to stay awake during the procedure. Sleepiness is a side effect of some medications, but 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 by mouth, meaning no injections, no anxiety and no pain. However, at times, there are situations in which an individual patient's needs require them to be sedated using an IV or by using general anesthesia in an operating room environment. Some sedatives work so effectively that even the smells and details of the procedure cannot be recalled afterwards. Safety and compliance are two important aspects of treatments, so sedation dentistry offers both the individual and the dentist the best alternative.
Whatever the form of sedative, it is essential to be accompanied by a caregiver with a valid driver's license due to the fact that the sedation that our office provides renders the patient in a condition in which they are unable to drive themselves home.
The most popular types of dental sedatives are oral conscious sedation and IV moderate conscious sedation. Before administering any sedative, our dental team must analyze the full medical history of the patient, taking note of any current medications.
Here is an overview of some of the most common types of dental sedatives:
Intravenous sedation is a type of moderate conscious sedation. Generally, IV sedation is used for shorter treatments. It is administered via direct injection into the bloodstream, which means the effects are immediate. Sometimes patients feel groggy and sleepy when the IV sedatives are withdrawn. This is why it is important to bring a designated driver for the drive home.
Oral conscious sedation is an excellent choice for people who fear 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. This means that most patients cannot remember the pain, smells or noises associated with the procedure.