Sedation Dentistry Can Help You Relax In The Dentist's Chair

Tuesday 17th May 2016

For some people, a trip to the dentist is not a big deal. For others, however, the mere thought of the dental office is enough to cause high levels of stress, anxiety and even fear. There are actually a lot of different people who fall into this second category. You'll find them avoiding the dentist at any cost and choosing to endure agonizing pain rather than have a dental procedure performed. For these people, there is a solution. In recent years, sedation dentistry has become a common practice in many dental offices, allowing those who are anxious about or scared of the dentist to receive the care they need.

What is Sedation Dentistry?

Sedation dentistry involves the use of medication to help patients relax during dental procedures. Because different people have different levels of dental anxiety or fear, there are different levels of sedation that can be administered by a qualified dentist. The general levels of sedation used in dentistry are:

  • Minimal Sedation – the patient is awake but relaxed; depending on the level of sedation, they may be able to drive themselves home
  • Moderate Sedation – sometimes called conscious sedation; the patient is less aware than with minimal sedation; they may slur their words and have difficulty remembering the procedure
  • Deep Sedation – the patient is on the edge of consciousness but can still generally be awakened if necessary
  • General Anesthesia – the patient is completely unconscious during the procedure and cannot be easily awakened until the effects of the anesthesia wear off

Keep in mind that sedation dentistry is not a substitute for local anesthetic. If the procedure causes pain or discomfort, a local numbing agent will typically be used in addition to the sedatives.

Why Use Sedation Dentistry?

If you are one of those who experience stress, anxiety or fear in relation to the dentist, sedation dentistry could be right for you. Sedation is used to help you relax so that your dentist can perform the procedures you need. If you have a high level of fear, sedation may actually be the only way you are able to have dental work done. While sedation dentistry is not right for everyone, it is a good solution for people who have a fear of the dentist, traumatic dental experiences, a bad gag reflex, very sensitive teeth, traumatic dental experiences, or complex dental problems. So, if visiting the dentist is one of the hardest things you have to do, you should talk to your dentist to find out if sedation dentistry is right for you.