Going to the dentist should never be a traumatic experience, but sadly, many people battle dental anxiety. If you are among the countless individuals who want to run away when they hear anything about dental healthcare professionals, sleep dentistry may be perfect for you. Let’s talk about the different types of sedation that could take your experience at your dentist’s office from terrifying to totally relaxing.
As its name implies, oral sedation refers to techniques where relaxing substances get into your body via your mouth. It includes both nitrous oxide (laughing gas) and pills.
Nitrous oxide is the lightest level of sedation. When you breathe it in, you immediately feel relaxed, but you’re still aware of what is going on around you. It is ideal for patients who have a low level of dental anxiety, and it is the type of sedation that wears off the quickest. You’ll even be able to drive yourself home after your appointment!
With oral conscious sedation, you take a pill shortly before your procedure. You’ll be very relaxed and may not remember your appointment after all is said and done. You may feel groggy for several hours after you get home.
Oral sedation is usually best for light or routine dental procedures, like cleanings and small fillings.
With this type of sedation dentistry, which is sometimes used for significant dental work (like root canals, inlays, and onlays), your dentist will intravenously administer a drug that will help you relax. They can adjust your level of sedation throughout your procedure so you stay at ease.
This is a good option for adults with moderate to severe dental anxiety or children who have trouble sitting still while they’re getting worked on. Keep in mind that the effects of IV sedation can linger for up to a day after your procedure.
General anesthesia is the deepest level of sedation; it puts you entirely to sleep, perhaps through intravenously administered drugs or through pills. It is used for patients with very severe dental anxiety or those who are undergoing major procedures, such as the placement of several dental implants.
General anesthesia is usually very safe, but some people face side effects, which may include dizziness, confusion, nausea, difficulty passing urine, grogginess, and soreness from the IV drip. Your dentist will be sure to discuss any potential side effects and complications with you before your procedure.
Which Is Best for You?
The type of sedation that is appropriate for you depends largely on your level of dental anxiety as well as the procedure you’re undergoing. Other factors, such as your overall health, may also come into play. Your dentist will discuss your treatment with you and do your best to make sure that your experience is as relaxing as possible.
At Sleep Dentists in Plantation, our goal is to protect and restore the smiles of individuals who hate going to the dentist. We want to make your experience comfortable! If you have questions about sedation dentistry, please contact us at 954-424-6500.