For a lot of people in the Little Rock area, the idea of going to the dentist is ideal. However, if you require a procedure, it could be a different story. Just talking about a future dental visit can make the body tense. For many of these individuals, the pain associated with a toothache is easier to handle than the thought of going to the dentist. Luckily, there is a solution to that fear: sedation dentistry.
Sedation dentistry is an excellent way to minimize the anxiety a person feels when they visit the dentist. Sedation dentistry can be used for everything like simple teeth whitening to a more complicated invasive procedure. The level of sedation a patient receives will vary depending on how afraid they are of going to the dentist.
When we talking about sedation dentistry, like what is offered in Little Rock, we are talking about dentistry where the dentist uses medications to help the patient feel calm and relaxed during the dental procedure. Some people may refer to sedation dentistry as sleep dentistry. However, since most forms of sedation do not put the patient to sleep, this term is a misnomer. A patient undergoing sedation dentistry is completely awake for the entire procedure, with the exception of those who require general anesthesia.
For many people, minimal sedation is enough. Minimal sedation may include inhaling nitrous oxide. Nitrous oxide is more commonly known as laughing gas. With laughing gas, a mask is put over your nose and the gas helps you to relax. The level of sedation you feel will vary. In fact, minimal sedation with nitrous oxide is the only form of sedation you receive from the dentist that allows you to drive home after the dental procedure is done.
For other people, some form of oral sedation is required. Oral sedation can be mild or can be potent. The level of potency is dependent on the drug that your dentist prescribes. In most cases, oral sedation may make you drowsy, but you will still be awake. Some people, depending on their body makeup, may feel drowsy, groggy, and even fall asleep for part of the procedure. However, these individuals can usually be woken up fairly easily.
IV sedation and general anesthesia are more intense forms of sedation. With general anesthesia, it is designed so that you sleep throughout the entire procedure and will require some recovery time as the anesthesia wears off. Regardless of the form of sedation dentistry your dentist uses, it is a great tool in helping you feel more relaxed when visiting the dentist.
If you are interested in learning more, contact us today at Samuel F. Jirik, DDS in Little Rock to learn more!