Can Sedation Help with Dental Procedure Anxiety?
Does your body tense up with anxiety and fear at the thought of a dental visit? Are you one of those that will go around with your hand to your cheek with a toothache for weeks rather than even think about going for a dental visit? Well, you are not alone in that dread and panic. Fortunately for you, and many, many others like you, we here at Revive Dental and Implant Center have the answer for you in the form of sedation dentistry. Let’s take a closer look at this procedure and what it is all about. So, yes, sedation can help you with your dental procedure anxiety.
What Is Sedation Dentistry?
Sedation in dentistry is being used for things such as procedures that are extremely invasive to something as simple as cleaning your teeth. How the sedation is used is largely based on the level of severity of your fear anxiety level. Medication is used to help patients relax during their dental procedures. With sedation dentistry, patients are generally always awake with the rare exception of those who might be under general anesthesia.
What are the Levels of Sedation Dentistry?
There are four categories or levels of sedation. The first, of course, being minimal sedation where you are awake, but relaxed. From minimal you progress to moderate sedation, which was at one time called “conscious sedation”. This is where you might slur your words some when speaking and may not remember much about your procedure. Next comes the level of deep sedation, where you are on the very edge of consciousness, but you can still very much be awakened. The very last level of sedation is actually called general anesthesia, and this is where you are completely unconscious.
Types of Sedation Dentistry
While there are four levels of sedation there are five types of sedation, beginning with inhaled minimal sedation. With this method, you breathe in nitrous oxide (laughing gas) through a mask placed over your nose. This helps you to relax.
Another delivery method of minimal oral sedation is by pill. If you are given minimal sedation by pill you are typically given Halcion, a member of the Valium family. This will make you drowsy, but still awake.
If you prefer moderate sedation, you will simply be given a larger dose of the Halcion. This is typically the type most commonly associated with sedation dentistry. A lot of people become quite groggy with this and often fall asleep during their procedure, although it will only take a gentle shake to wake them up.
IV moderate sedation is when you would receive a sedative through a vein so that it will work more quickly, and it also allows continual adjustment of sedation level.
Deep sedation and general anesthesia are the last types of sedation and this is where you receive medications that either make you almost or completely unconscious during your procedure. If you are under general anesthesia, you cannot be easily awakened and must wait until the effects of the medication wear off naturally or are reversed with medication.
It is important to remember most levels of sedation are not pain relievers, but are simply there to relieve anxiety.
How Safe Is Sedation Dentistry?
When you receive any type of general anesthesia, there is always a risk. Our dental practitioners are experienced in determining the amount of sedation needed, administering it and adjusting it, if necessary, during the procedure. However, there are those who might have medical conditions that may preclude you from having certain levels of sedation. Consult carefully with our dental professionals before having sedation so they can appropriately determine if it is safe for you to have sedation without developing any complications.
If you are fearful of having dental procedures, do not let your fear keep you away from good oral health care or painful toothaches. Here at Revive Dental and Implant Center we understand your fears and anxieties and want to help. Please call our office at (304) 467-4265 with any questions, or concerns you may have, or if you would like to make an appointment to talk with one of our dental professionals about a dental procedure using sedation.