For many people, the sheer thought of visiting a dentist is enough to get a panic attack started. After all, having dental work done is about as much fun as, well, pulling teeth. The good news is that when it comes to sedation dentistry, there are options for just about any dental procedure you can imagine – ranging from simple cleanings and fillings all of the way to root canals and implants.
Sedation Dentistry: For the Patient, Not a Procedure Sedation dentistry is often a choice that makes sense for a patient, regardless of the procedure in question. For individuals who know that they have a lot of dental work to be done and are eager to just go ahead and get it over with, sedation dentistry may be the best option. As a general rule, opting for sedation dentistry is done to alleviate stress, anxiety, pain and procrastination.
How Sedation Dentistry Works There are three prevalent methods of sedation dentistry. The first option is inhalation sedation, and is often achieved through the use of “laughing gas” or a similar substance. Oral sedation is another option, and includes taking anti-anxiety drugs in liquid or pill form. The final is IV sedation, where sedatives are introduced directly to the blood stream. In severe instances, patients can opt for general anesthesia (where you are completely under) but this is a last-ditch option and entails more significant side effects and risks.
The biggest question you need to be able to answer in regards to sedation dentistry can be summed up quite simply: “If it helps you get through the procedure, why not?” Of course, that said, there are reasons that you may want to reconsider sedation dentistry – chiefly, that “running” from your dental fears by sleeping them away doesn’t really deal with the root issue and merely offers an “escape” route.
Of course, if you could use a little break (and if you’re looking for night guards and snore guards, it’s safe to bet that rest and relaxation are important to you), sedation dentistry can get you patiently through an otherwise high-stress situation.