Did you skip that dental appointment again? Although that was planned out six months ago, you couldn’t gather yourself together to go to the dentist. The thought of being at the clinic makes your body shiver all over. There’s that unexplainable fear of the dentist and being on the dentist’s chair.
Feeling anxious about getting dental treatment may seem nothing. But when you begin to skip dental appointments for no reason or when you’d rather suffer the terrible pain that comes with a toothache than seeing the dentist for the right treatment, it is a severe problem that needs particular attention.
You are not the only patient with this problem. There are some patients like that all over the world that dentists themselves have worked out practice to help anxious patients get the treatment they need. The method of sedation dentistry allows patients to undergo the dental procedures that they require.
It is a practice among dentists to use medication to help the patient relax while in the dentist’s chair. Others refer to the practice as “sleep dentistry” because it puts the patient to sleep while the dentist works on their dental problem. Although most patients stay awake during the procedure, there are those that are set to good sleep under general anesthesia.
Levels of Sedation
Sedation medicine come in various levels. Not all patients are given the same dosage. It depends on an assessment of their level of fear as well as the complications that may come with the dental procedure. Levels of sedation available in the dental clinic include:
- Minimal sedation – the patient is aware of the process and is wide awake. However, the sedative puts them is a more relaxed state – less anxious about what’s to happen.
- Moderate sedation – this is often referred to as the conscious sedation. The patient may not be able to speak will and will likely to forget the procedure.
- Deep sedation – the patient is already almost half asleep, although can be woken up when the need arises.
- General anesthesia – the patient is entirely unconscious about the procedure. They are also not likely to remember anything that happened.
Types of sedation
Sedation also varies in form, depending on the age of the patient and the level of anxiety. For dentistry, here are some of the most common types of sedation that are used:
Inhaled sedation –
patients inhale nitrous oxide or the laughing gas. The mask is placed over the nose to help the patient relax. The dentist controls the amount of sedation that the patient receives. This is mainly used for patients whose dental anxiety is manageable. It quickly wears off so the patient can leave the dental clinic and drive himself home soon after the procedure.
Oral sedation –
in this form of sedation, the patient is given a pill to drink. Halcion is usually the medicine that is used. It belongs to the family of Valium. The patients are asked to take the pill at least an hour before the procedure. Though the pill can make the patient a bit drowsy, they remain conscious but will not remember anything about the procedure.
IV sedation –
this is the sedative that is directly inserted into the veins to allow it to work faster. This method is also used for patients dealing with severe dental anxiety. The dentist can adjust the level of sedation the patient received throughout the procedure.
Skipping dental appointments is never the solution to your dental health care needs. With sedation dentistry, you can undergo the care that you need when you need it.