If you’re a person that tends to put off trips to the dental office because you dislike having treatment done, you’re not alone. In fact, it’s not uncommon for people to avoid getting a filling or other restoration completed because they just aren’t comfortable in the dentist’s chair.
Unfortunately, delaying therapy can lead to more complex and costly issues later. One of the great ways to relax through the treatment that you need is with the help of sedation dentistry.
Depending on the type of licensure and training that your sedation dentist has, there are generally three variations you can choose from:
Nitrous Oxide / “Laughing Gas”
Used for decades in dentistry, “laughing gas” is a safe, quick, and effective way to ease your mind during a dental visit. A small amount of nitrous gas is combined with pure oxygen to create a euphoric sensation and worry-freestate of mind. The actual amount of sedative is adjusted by your dentist during your appointment, based on your comfort level. It takes only a few minutes for the gas to start working and is 100% reversible within 5-10 minutes of receiving100% oxygen.
Conscious Oral Sedation
Prescription sedatives or anti-anxiety medications such as Valium or Halcion can help you tune out what’s going on around you. You’ll still be aware of your appointment, but everything will feel more like a daydream or as if you are in a light “fog.” You can even answer questions and communicate with your dentist, but there’s a very good chance you won’t remember anything after it’s over.
IV sedation can be administered by a licensed anesthetist or by specially trained and licensed dentists. This type of sedative is delivered through an intravenous line for a specified amount of time. Once the dental treatment is completed, the medication is turned off. Because of how well-controlled it is, IV sedation allows for a deeper, “dreamlike” state where most people feel they are napping through their visit.
Get Help With Transportation
It can take a while for the effects of both IV and conscious oral sedation to wear off (longer for the latter), so it’s important to have someone drive you to and from your appointment.
Do I Still Need a Shot?
Your dentist will still need to use local anesthetic to numb the area of your mouth being worked on. Fortunately, the sedative makes it so that you really won’t mind the brief pinch. Keeping the area anesthetized will prevent any discomfort.
Enjoy a Relaxing Experience
Sedation dentistry is extremely safe when performed properly. You can request it at any time, even if you don’t have a dental phobia. Many people request sedatives just so that they can relax or have multiple procedures completed in the same visit.
Summit Dental Center in Houston provides sedation dentistry at each of its 7 area locations. We’re even open on Saturdays so you don’t have to use up your vacation time at work to receive the dental care you need. Call us today to schedule your sedation consultation.