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Sedation dentistry—also called sleep dentistry—is used by certified and trained dentists to allow their anxious clients to relax while receiving dental treatment and services. If you have a fear of the dentist or of pain in general, then consider sedation dentistry. Sedation soothes your central nervous system (CNS) allowing you to relax. Sedation involves the use of tranquilizers, sleeping pills, depressants etc. to enable you to you’re your anxieties.
For some people, a fear of the dentist prevents them from making regular dental appointments. This leads to poor oral health and may lead to more serious dental problems such as periodontal disease.
In the past, dental offices mainly used IV sedation. Today, there are other kinds of sedation available depending on your individual needs and medical history.
Ask your dentist about the different kinds of sedation provided in the dental office and how they can help you relax so you can enjoy your dental treatment.
Different Methods of Sedation
There are several methods and degrees of sedation which depend on your individual needs and medical background and history. Your dentist will determine the most appropriate method of sedation for you.
1) Inhalation Analgesia
Also known as “laughing gas,” this is the most common method of sedation. Your dentist will place a little hood over your nose and administer Nitrous Oxide where you will feel numb and relaxed. Although you will feel very comfortable, you will still be able to follow your dentist’s directions.
2) Intravenous Sedation
Intravenous sedation makes you feel sleepy after it has been administered through an injection. This method of sedation is ideal for short dental treatments as you instantly feel its result. This method of sedation also makes people feel a degree of amnesia, as you believe that the dental service took a few minutes to complete.
3) Intramuscular Sedation
For this method of sedation, your dentist will make the injection in the muscles of either your upper thigh or upper arm.
4) Oral Sedation
This method of sedation is given through a pill and is given to you before the dental treatment.
5) Local Anesthesia
This type of sedation involves using an anesthetic gel to the area that must be treated. This method of sedation is ideal for minor dental treatments.
6) General Anesthesia
General anesthesia results in unconsciousness and lasts hours post-treatment. It is used for those who require oral surgery.
Dentists encourage their clients to have someone drive them to and from the dental office as you will feel groggy and hazy after the dental treatment.