A number of people have “dental” fear and dread going for dental treatments. If numbers are to be believed, around 15 percent of Americans suffer from dental anxiety; however, there is no need to worry because there is help in the form of sedation dentistry.
Sedation dentistry makes use of medication to help people relax while they undergo a dental procedure. It can take away some of the fear and anxiety people feel about dentist office visits. It is also called “sleep dentistry,” although most people are wide awake through the dental procedures with the exception of those who receive general anesthesia.
Types of Sedation Dentistry
There are several types of sedation dentistry:
- Minimal Sedation – You are awake during the procedure, but you are very relaxed.
- Moderate Sedation – You may not remember all of the procedure, and your words may be slurred. This type and the one above can be referred to as conscious sedation dentistry.
- Deep Sedation – This is where you are somewhat on the edge of consciousness but will likely not remember the procedure. You can be awakened if the dentist so chooses.
- General Anesthesia – You are completely unconscious.
Types Of Sedation Used In Dentistry
The following are types of sedation commonly used in dentistry:
Inhaled Minimal Sedation
With this type, you be administered nitrous oxide – also known as laughing gas – and you will breathe it in through a mask that is placed over your nose and face. The laughing gas wears off quickly, so in most cases you will be able to drive yourself home.
This type of sedation dentistry can range from minimal to moderate depending on the dose you are given. This is the type that is most often associated with sedation dentistry. People with sedation may fall asleep during the procedure, but they are easily awakened.
IV Moderate Sedation
IV sedation dentistry involves administering the sedative through an IV, so it takes effect much more quickly. IV dentistry procedure allows the dentist to adjust the level of sedation on a continuous basis.
General Anesthesia or Deep Sedation
With this type, you are given medications that will leave you mostly unconscious. It is not easy for you to be awakened with this sedation method. After a period of time, the anesthetic will wear off, or you will be given another medication to wake you.
Regardless of the method used, you will also very likely be given a local anesthetic as well to ease the pain. Sedation dentistry costs can vary from method to method, and may or may not be covered under your insurance. Check with your insurance agent to be certain. Sedation dentistry side effects are minimal. If you receive general anesthesia, you may be groggy for some time after the procedure.
Who Is Sedation Dentistry Best For?
In addition to people who have dental anxiety, sedation dentistry is good for those who have low thresholds of pain, and those who have trouble sitting still in a dentist’s chair. It is also ideal for those with very sensitive teeth, and those who have a bad gag reflex. It is also the choice for those who need a great deal of dental work done in one or more sittings.
Most general dentists can perform minimal sedation, and more and more are being certified to perform moderate sedation; however, there are only a few who can use the more complex general anesthesia on patients.
If you are one of those who have a fear of the dentist, or you have sensitive teeth or another condition, you can get excellent dental care including dental sedation at Baystate Dental.
Baystate Dental has offices in 14 different locations in and around the Greater Springfield area. Make an appointment to get the oral health care you need. Our staff will be more than happy to answer any and all questions you have about your oral health, and we provide services for the youngest and oldest members of your family.
We have many years of experience in general dentistry and in sedation dentistry. Since 1983, we have been in the business of giving people healthy mouths and lovely smiles. Our experienced and caring staff will make you feel at ease, no matter how scared you have been in the past at a dentist’s office. Call one of our many offices to serve in Belchertown, Chicopee, East Longmeadow, Greenfield – Suite 6, Greenfield – Suite 7, Longmeadow, Ludlow, Northampton – King St, Springfield – Harrison Ave, Springfield – Main St #212, Springfield – Main St #215, Westfield, West Springfield, and Wilbraham, Massachusetts. One you to make the appointment you’re well on the road to a nicer looking smile and a healthier you.