The most readily available routes of conscious sedation dentistry are: oral and inhalation. For extremely fearful dental patients, general anesthesia for unconscious sedation may be required. Beautiful Dentistry offers all of these as options for any treatment.
Sedation at the Patient’s Request
All too frequently, a planned visit to the dentist is looked on with a degree of dread and foreboding. This is referred to as dental anxiety.
Dental anxiety is not unusual, it is quite natural for a person to be uncomfortable when placed in a position in which they feel that they are vulnerable, as occurs in the dental chair.
It is important that a patient tell the doctor if they have any dental anxiety related to their planned dental treatment. Keeping fears hidden can only lead to a much more unpleasant experience for the patient and, in more extreme circumstances, may even increase the likelihood of certain emergencies occurring, such as fainting.
Once the Sedation Dentist is aware of the patient’s dental anxiety and fears, there are many ways in which they may be addressed. In some cases, simply discussing the planned procedure is all that is necessary to alleviate the patient’s dental anxiety. We visually demonstrate our procedures through models and video presentations so the patient can fully understand the viability of the recommended treatment plan, and feel confident it is the best option for them.
When this is not enough, other highly effective and safe sedation techniques can be used to alleviate dental anxiety. The most readily available routes of conscious sedation dentistry are: oral and inhalation. For extremely fearful dental patients, general anesthesia for unconscious sedation may be required.
Conscious Sedation Dentistry
Oral Conscious Sedation Dentistry
Many dentists will prescribe a sedative drug to be taken by mouth prior to the planned treatment. If the individual has an even greater degree of dental anxiety, the doctor may prescribe an oral conscious sedative to be taken at home one hour prior to going to sleep on the evening before the appointment.
If the drug is administered at home, it is IMPERATIVE that the patient NOT DRIVE A CAR to the appointment. Patients receiving oral conscious sedation are not permitted to drive a car or operate a motor vehicle for 24 hours following their appointment.
Commonly administered oral conscious sedatives include: Valium, Halcion, Dalmane, and Versed. Oral conscious sedation dentistry is most effective in the management of milder degrees of dental anxiety.
Inhalation Conscious Sedation Dentistry
The use of inhalation conscious sedation (nitrous oxide and oxygen) has been a mainstay of sedation techniques in dentistry for generations and still represents the most frequently employed technique. Commonly known as laughing gas, nitrous oxide-oxygen is used by more than 35% of all U.S. dentists.
An advantage of this technique of inhalation conscious sedation is that most people receiving it recover promptly and may be permitted to leave the dental office unescorted and resume normal activities immediately.
Inhalation conscious sedation is most effective with mild to moderate degrees of dental anxiety.