If you were scared of the dentist as a child but never quite outgrew that fear, you’re not alone. Between 9%-20% of Americans suffer from excessive anxiety when it comes to visiting the dentist. If this is the case for you, you may want to consider how sedation dentistry can help you relax. Sedation dentistry is when medication is used to help you calm down for your dental visit. The following are common questions that dental patients ask about sedation dentistry.
Does sedation dentistry involve a needle?
The level of sedation you choose will determine how it is administered. There are four main types of sedation dentistry:
- Inhaled minimal sedation. Also referred to as “laughing gas” this type of sedation is a combination of oxygen and nitrous oxide. Before the beginning of your procedure, a mask will be placed over your nose allowing you to breathe in the gas. You will slowly begin to feel groggy. After your procedure is completed, the mask will be removed, and you will gradually become alert.
- Oral sedation. Oral sedation comes in the form of a pill. You will take the dosage prescribed by your dentist one hour before your procedure. The pill will make you feel drowsy, but you will remain awake.
- IV moderate sedation. This type of sedative is administered through a vein using a needle. The effect is almost immediate.
- Deep sedation and general anesthesia. Medications will be given to you that makes you unconscious or nearly unconscious. It takes a little bit of time to awaken patients after this form of sedation is used.
Will I feel anything during sedation dentistry?
No matter the type of sedation you choose, you will typically be given a local anesthetic. This is a medication that numbs the area the dentist is doing the procedure on so you will not feel anything.
Am I a good candidate for sedation dentistry?
Sedation dentistry is also used for patients who have a bad gag reflex, have extremely sensitive teeth, have a low pain threshold, or can’t relax in the dentist’s chair.