Fear of dental treatment is an important factor that prevents people from visiting a dentist. The fear pushes patients to endure toothache, which in turn compromises their oral health. Are you anxious about dental treatment? But you don’t want to be put to sleep completely because you are afraid of getting IV injections? Our dental office has the perfect solution to reduce your stress! Our dental care providers use minimal or moderate sedation that helps patients relax enough to allow dental treatment to be rendered. The sedative recommended/administered to patients is based on their anxiety level. Sedation dentistry helps fearful patients relax during cleanings, fillings, extractions, dental implants and any dental procedure so that they don’t compromise their oral health.
Nitrous oxide is used as a mild sedative. The laughing gas helps reduce anxiety by providing a euphoric sensation. The recovery is almost immediate.
Moderate sedation is a step above mild sedative. This process is recommended for patients who are more anxious and require a strong sedative to keep them relaxed. The dentist may recommend an oral sedative. Most times the oral sedative used is a type of Benzodiazepine (i.e. Halcion), which decreases activity in the parts of the brain that control fear and anxiety. Generally it can be taken upto 1 hour before the procedure or the night before to help you relax. The result is a very relaxed and calm mood that will allow your dentist to effectively do what they’re supposed to. It also has some amnesia effects so you wont remember any unpleasant parts of dental treatment that you usually are afraid of.
Please ask the dentist about this option! It is our aim to make our patients more relaxed and comfortable with the dental treatment. And the advantage is that it has less side effects as compared to IV sedation and General anaesthesia.
Advantages of Oral Sedation
- Easy to administer:Oral sedation is the easiest form of sedation because all you have to do is swallow the pill as directed, and you’ll be feeling relaxed before the procedure begins.
- No IV needles: Many patients that are afraid of the dentist also have a fear of needles, which are used when administering IV sedation. With oral sedation, however, the patient can take the sedative orally without having to worry about being pricked in the arm.
- Safe: The oral sedatives are all regulated by the FDA, so it’s extremely unlikely for you to experience any dangerous side effects.
- Relaxed but awake:Although you may feel drowsy with pill sedation, you’ll still be awake and responsive. Since you’re awake during the procedure, you’ll still be able to listen and respond to your dentist’s
- Amnesia: This is great for patients suffering from dental fear because they’ll have little or no recollection of what went on while they were sedated.
Disadvantages of Oral Sedation
- Slow onset: With oral sedation, the effects don’t kick in as fast, which is why your dentist will tell you to take the sedative and wait for a while before starting treatment so that the drugs get some time to start working.
- Effects of sedation may vary from person to person:Everyone metabolizes pills differently, so it’s hard to tell how long it will take for the sedative to kick in and subsequently how effective it can be.
- Need a driver!:Oral sedation relaxes patients, but it also takes some hours to get out of your system. You may feel drowsy after the treatment. Hence you will need a driver to take you to and from your appointment.