Does the thought of going to your dentist make your entire body tense with fear?
Would you rather endure the pain of a toothache than enter your dentist’s office?
You’re not alone. Many people are so anxious about visiting their dentist that they simply don’t visit them.
For people who avoid dentists due to anxiety, sedation dentistry may be the answer.
Sedation can be helpful for everything from invasive procedures to a simple teeth cleaning, depending on the severity of the fear.
What is Sedation Dentistry?
Sedation dentistry, usually referred to as “sleep dentistry”, uses specific medication to help patients relax during dental procedures.
Patients are usually awake, except those who are under general anaesthesia.
The Levels of Sedation
- Minimal sedation – patient is awake yet relaxed.
- Moderate sedation (formerly called “conscious sedation”) – patient may slur their words when speaking and not remember much of the procedure.
- Deep sedation – patient is on the border of consciousness but can still be awakened.
- General anaesthesia – patient is completely unconscious.
Benefits of Sedation
Sedation has become famous for offering benefits to both the patient and the dentist.
For some patients, the use of sedation is the only way they can get the dental care they need and improve their oral health.
Sedation can offer:
- Patient relaxation
- Increased comfort
- Movement control
- Patient cooperation
- Control of gag reflex
- Little or no memory of the treatment
- Time-saving – fewer appointments needed
How Does Sedation Dentistry Work?
The procedure depends on the type of sedation your dentist chooses.
For instance, if you’re taking an oral sedative, your dentist will write you a prescription and instruct you on how and when to take the drug.
As long as you follow instructions, you’ll benefit from decreased anxiety and increased relaxation. Once the medication starts to work, you should start feeling drowsy and content.
Procedures vary for other methods of sedation. You don’t need to prepare for nitrous oxide. Your dentist will provide it before, during, and after the procedure.
But, if you choose IV (intravenous) sedation, you might need to prepare beforehand.
For example, your dentist might ask you to fast (skip meals and drinking) for several hours before the dental procedure.
You might also need to avoid taking specific medications the day before visiting the dentist because they can interfere with the medication.
Who Needs Sedation?
Sedation is most appropriate for people with fear or anxiety that prevents them from going to the dentist.
Sedation may also be suitable for people who:
- Have a low pain tolerance
- Can’t sit still in the dentist’s chair
- Have extremely sensitive teeth
- Have a bad gag reflex
- Need a large amount of dental work done
Often, children are given sedation if they are scared of going to the dentist or don’t want to cooperate during a dental visit.
Nitrous oxide is safe for children, and just about any dentist can administer it. A smaller percentage of dentists are trained to give children oral sedatives.
Oral sedation can be safe when given within the recommended dose for the child’s age and weight.
Sedation Dentistry in Forster
At Forster Dental Centre, we provide each patient with the care that allows them to maintain healthy teeth and a beautiful smile for life!
We offer a selection of safe and convenient sedation that can help you in getting the dental treatments you need.
We are located at 1st floor Forster Tower, 12 Wallis St in Forster.