Anxiolysis is Anxiety Reduction
For patients who are mildly anxious about dental treatment, the dentist can prescribe a single dose of anti-anxiety medicine to be taken before the appointment. The most well-known medicine of this type is Valium, but there are several others. Medicines like this help patients feel calm and less concerned about their dental appointments. Because of their sedative effect, patients must be accompanied by somebody who can drive them to and from their appointment.
Pill sedation is similar to anxiolysis, but the medication is intended to achieve a more powerful sedative effect. Patients will be somewhat aware of what is going on around them during the dental procedure, but may not remember it. Patients who receive this type of sedation must be escorted to and from their appointment. This works well for patients who have severe anxiety about dental treatment.
IV sedation is similar to pill sedation, but the medicines are administered through an IV rather than a pill. This allows the medicine to take effect more quickly and be controlled more closely by the dentist. The dentist can increase or decrease the medicine during the procedure to adjust the level of sedation. Patients who receive IV sedation are not likely to remember their appointments. Again, patients will require an escort for this type of sedation.
General anesthesia is the same type of sedation that is used for major surgeries. With this type of sedation, patients are sedated so deeply that they are completely unconscious throughout the procedure. General anesthesia is usually only done in hospital operating rooms, and as a result it is much more expensive than other sedation methods. For dental procedures, general anesthesia is typically only recommended under special circumstances, due to the additional cost and risk associated with it.
Sedation is a great option for patients who are scared about having dental work done. As you can see, there is a range of sedation options to choose from. Your dentist will want to meet with you first to discuss the options and decide what will work best. Fear shouldn’t stop you from having the dental care you need and want. Give your dentist a call today!