Many people have had a fear of the dentist since they were small children, and the fear hasn’t lessened despite being full grown adults. For these people who can’t get through a dental procedure without intense fear and panic, sedation dentistry might be the answer to their problems.
There are a few different types of sedation available for nervous dental patients, and the right one depends on the patient’s overall health and the procedure they need.
Oral sedatives are a mild option and taken before the dental appointment. There may not be any pain relief with oral sedatives, so a local anesthetic may be injected once the oral sedation has kicked in.
Intravenous sedation works immediately, so if the patient is okay with an IV catheter, this is an effective option for them. They may not remember anything after getting in the office and sitting down.
Like oral sedation, it may have zero pain relief, so it may need to be accompanied by some form of analgesia.
Also known as laughing gas, this is a form of conscious sedation. It doesn’t make the patient unconscious, but it creates such a state of relaxation that it’s unlikely anything will negatively affect them emotionally. If the procedure is going to be uncomfortable, a local anesthetic may be used.
Good Candidates for Dental Sedation
Sedation is a pretty big deal, and it isn’t something a dentist is going to approve unless there are real indications that it’s necessary for the patient. Severe dental anxiety is a very real thing, typically created by a traumatic experience at the dentist and exacerbated by a fear of needles.
Dentists might approve sedation in cases of extremely sensitive teeth (where being aware of what’s happening could be extremely uncomfortable), no reaction to local anesthetics, or limited time to complete complex dental work, too.
Sedation in children is more common because kids can’t sit still as long as their adult counterparts can, and they’re more likely to experience anxiety over certain procedures.
Dentists who offer sedation dentistry are quite compassionate and understand their patients simply feel more at ease with their dental care when they’re sedated. Anxious patients should find a dentist who understands dental anxiety and is willing to do whatever is needed to feel comfortable in their chair.
Contact the office of Dr. Samuel F. Jirik, DDS today to schedule an appointment and find out if sedation dentistry will benefit you.