Afraid of the Dental Clinic? Consider Sedation Dentistry
What keeps you from getting regular dental checkups or the treatment you need? If it’s a dental phobia, you are not alone. Many people are afraid and a trip to the dental clinic may be a traumatic experience. But, this should not worry you; with sedation dentistry, you can go through any dental procedure; both simple and complex.
What is Sedation Dentistry?
Dental sedation uses medication or sedatives to relax you and keep you calm during a dental procedure. Although it is referred to as sleep dentistry, dental sedation rarely causes you to sleep except for general anesthesia.
Are You a Candidate for Sedation Dentistry?
Our dentist for anxiety patients or sedation dentist can recommend sedation for various reasons, such as:
- You have severe dental anxiety or phobia.
- Gag reflex. This is a natural process that happens to protect you from swallowing a foreign object. However, if you suffer from a severe gag reflex, it may interfere with a dental procedure.
- You have a low threshold of pain
- You suffer from severe tooth sensitivity
- The dentist is about to do a complex dental procedure.
Before sedation dentistry is used, Dr. Allan Fallah will first do a comprehensive assessment of your health and medical history. He will also ask you a couple of questions to determine if you are allergic to any medication.
What is Conscious Sedation?
Conscious sedation uses sedatives to keep you calm, but it does not cause you to sleep. You’ll still be able to hear and see what the dentist is doing. There are three kinds of conscious sedation:
- Inhaled sedation
This is also called laughing gas and is usually used for mild to moderate dental procedures. Inhaled sedation is administered via the face mask. The medication takes effect immediately and that’s why the dentist administers it a few minutes before the procedure.
Laughing gas also wears off quickly and has no side effects, and is suitable for children too. Because of this feature, it makes it easy for you to resume your activities.
- Oral sedation
Oral sedation comes in pill form and is administered via the mouth. This sedation works great for more people, but it takes time for the pill to metabolize. That is why the dentist gives it to you a couple of hours before the procedure. Sometimes, if you are too anxious to sleep the night of the procedure, the dentist may also give you a mouth pill to keep you calm.
Though it is conscious sedation, you may drift to sleep a little bit, but you can be woken up with a gentle shake.
- IV sedation
Intravenous sedation is similar to oral sedation, but it is given via the veins. IV sedation allows the dentist to adjust the dosage and that is why it is mostly used on complex dental procedures like extraction.
Little preparation may be required before the IV sedation is given. Wear loose clothes and short-sleeved shirts to make it easy for the dentist to access the arm. Also, don’t eat a couple of hours before the procedure to reduce discomfort.
When is Sleep Sedation Used?
Sleep or deep sedation is reserved for complex procedures like oral surgery or impacted teeth extraction. Deep sedation causes you to become unconscious and it takes time to wear out. At times, the dentist uses medication to reduce its effects.
How Long Does It Take for You to Resume Activities?
The duration takes for dental sedation to wear out will depend on the type, dosage, and body mechanism. Although some dental sedation wears out easily, you shouldn’t resume activities like driving. Also, rest for a couple of hours following a dental procedure to allow the body to rest.
Are There Side Effects?
Dental sedation is safe and has little to no side effects. However, you may feel grogginess, nausea, headaches, dizziness, or vomiting as the sedatives wear out. These problems will clear out after some time. If they last for a couple of hours contact our emergency dentist in Carrollwood 33618 for immediate assessment and treatment.
Schedule an Appointment
Visit Carrollwood Dental Studio for more information on dental sedation and how it works.