What You Should Know About Sedation Dentistry

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For many patients, going to the dentist is overwhelming and anxiety-inducing. Many dentists, however, offer sedation dentistry to help combat dentist-related stress. If you are avoiding the dentist because you are nervous about treatment, check out these three facts you must know about sedation dentistry to see if it's the right choice for you.

Nitrous Oxide Is a Common Form of Sedation

The majority of dentists offer the weakest form of sedation dentistry, and you may have had it at some point in your life. It's known as inhalation sedation or nitrous oxide. If you choose this type of sedation, the dentist will connect a breathing device to your nose. During treatment, instead of breathing normal air, you breathe through the device, which provides nitrous oxide and oxygen. As long as you continue breathing the mixture, you'll feel the effects of nitrous oxide, including a reduction in anxiety and stress. Once treatment is over, the device is removed, and you begin breathing normal air again to quickly flush the nitrous oxide from your body.

Stronger Forms Are Also Available

With nitrous oxide, you don't need a ride because the gas leaves your body quickly, so you won't feel groggy or tired. There are, however, stronger forms of sedation available. Oral sedation uses an oral sedative, which is taken before treatment. IV-conscious sedation is another option. During this type of sedation, you are given a sedative intravenously during the treatment. Both options can leave you feeling drowsy and unable to drive after treatment. Therefore, you'll need a designated driver to ensure you make it home safely.

You May Fall Asleep During Treatment

Most forms of sedation dentistry are considered awake because they are not designed to knock you unconscious. Unconscious sedation is available, but it is usually reserved for more complex cases. Of course, sedation does usually make people sleepy, and because sedation also helps melt away stress and tension, you may become so comfortable you fall asleep during treatment. However, unlike unconscious sedation, you can easily wake when someone talks to you. During the treatment, you may be unaware of everything, and time tends to pass quickly thanks to sedative effects. After treatment, many patients have little memory of the procedure.

Stop avoiding the dentist because of anxiety and stress. With sedation dentistry, your fears are eased away, allowing you to get the beautiful, healthy smile you deserve without the stress. For more information about sedation dentistry, contact a dentist in your area today.