Plenty of people have anxiety when going to the dentist, which might cause them to avoid going altogether. Sedation dentistry aims to help improve the patient’s outlook while in the dentist’s office and ease the anxiety or pain while going through a procedure or checkup. For the most part, this type of dentistry uses medication to help depress the nervous system by varying degrees.
You might pick your level of sedation, or your dentist might recommend a certain amount, especially if the procedure requires that you stay conscious. The following are the three types of sedation that will help you get through your dentist visit.
Minimal sedation is often used when the patient is afraid of pain from a checkup or procedure. It works to numb either the area affected or the body, in general, to avoid pain or calm the patient down. This type of sedation is most often recommended when the procedure is minimally invasive or requires a level of consciousness and awareness from the patient while it is being carried out.
A moderate level of sedation usually involves applying medication as a way to relax the muscles as well as make the patient less anxious. At this point, the patient can respond to stimulation when requested but will otherwise be unaware of the procedure itself. This is most often recommended for more extensive procedures or patients who experience high levels of anxiety from going to the dentist.
This is the most intense form of sedation that uses the strongest medication to create the effect. The patient is often asleep during the entire procedure while under the effects of the medication and unable to respond or react to anything at all. A dentist will often use this type of sedation for nearly all patients who are going through particularly invasive procedures that require surgery or work in sensitive areas.
The Effects of Sedation
It should be noted that those who opt to go for sedation dentistry must bring someone who will be able to drive them home after the procedure has finished. This is because the medications that are used will often affect motor skills, which will make the person unable to walk or drive home.
Depending on the medication used, there are often other symptoms that will affect the patient following the procedure. These symptoms are more often mild and usually involve stomach aches, lack of appetite, or drowsiness in the hours following the administration of the medication. These symptoms usually subside within a day or so.
Sedation dentistry is an important part of the dental profession because it helps those who experience anxiety and stress when they go to the dentist. The sedation helps reduce the pain while also controlling any fear response that the patient may normally experience. Finally, it helps the dentist with the procedure in order to work in a quiet and calm environment and concentrate on the task at hand.