Understanding Sedation Dentistry

If you experience fear and anxiety before every dental visit, you could be suffering from dental anxiety. Many people have dental fears that can make it difficult for them to visit a dentist to receive the preventive and restorative care that they need.

Sedation dentistry can be used to provide a painless dental experience. The application involves the administration of medicines that help a patient to remain calm and relaxed as they undergo their dental procedure. 

Although many people refer to dental sedation as "sleep dentistry," a patient who receives a dental sedative does not actually fall asleep because of the medication. Instead, they remain comfortably relaxed but may feel a bit groggy. Nevertheless, with sedation dentistry, the patient does not lose consciousness.

Here is a bit of information about sedation dentistry to help you better understand it.

How Is the Sedation Applied?

The dentist can offer dental sedatives in a variety of forms. The patient may orally consume a sedative, receive it intravenously, or inhale it.

Oral sedatives include drugs, such as benzodiazepines that have a calming effect on the brain and body. The patient is often advised to take oral sedatives about a half hour before their dental procedure is scheduled to occur.

Intravenous drugs are administered in the dentist's office. These medications may remain in the patient's system for a few hours after their dental service is complete. 

Laughing gas is the most common inhaled dental sedative. The gas is administered through a special mask and goes into effect immediately. 

Are Dental Sedatives Safe?

Dental sedation is considered safer than general anesthesia because the patient remains conscious with control over their breathing. Additionally, sedated patients can still communicate their needs to their dentist verbally.

Also, before a dentist prescribes a sedative, they review the patient's medical history and avoid any substances that the patient is known to be allergic to.

Are There Side Effects With Dental Sedatives?

Some people do experience some minor side effects with dental sedation. Many patients who ingest oral sedatives experience a bit of amnesia. The effects of the amnesia are temporary and can be advantageous. The patient will have few memories of the actual dental procedure that they have undergone. As a result, they will not have new memories to fuel additional dental fears and anxiety.

To learn more about sedation dentistry, schedule a consultation with a pain-free general dentistry clinic like Picone Dental - Vincent J Picone DDS in your local area.