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Sedation Dentistry: Can You Really Relax in the Dentist’s Chair?

December 14, 2015 / DENTISTRY

Luckily, modern dentistry can use various pharmacological means to help patients to calm down and relax. In sedation dentistry, sedatives are used for depressing the central nervous system of patients to provide minimal, moderate or deep levels of relaxation during dental procedures. As a person who needs to go to the dentist at some point in time, you may ask yourself a common question that most patients ask themselves concerning sedation dentistry: can you really relax in the dentist’s chair?

Will Sedation Work for Me?

Sedation works for all patients and can be provided in different ways. You as a patient can select the method that seems more convenient to you. Many people avoid going to the dentist just because of their fear of dental procedures. This fear in not justified, because sedation is used even for the least invasive operations. You must be assured that will not feel any pain and this can be done by understanding the types of sedation that are used and how they work. There are different types of sedation:

Oral Sedation

Oral sedation can be minimal or moderate. Minimal sedation is provided through a pill like Valium or Halcion. You will have to take this pill one hour before a dental procedure. You will be awake during the procedure, but you will not feel anything. You will just be drowsy. If a larger does is given, the sedation can be moderate. Some people can even fall asleep after a procedure in which moderate sedation is used.

IV Moderate Sedation

A deeper level of sedation than oral sedation is known as IV moderate sedation. The sedative is a drug that is administered intravenously in this case. The way of administration makes the drug to work quickly. The results can be seen faster than in oral sedation. Both oral sedation and IV moderate sedation are known by many people as sleep dentistry. But, the truth is you are not actually “put to sleep” until the dentist uses the following two types of sedation: deep and general anesthesia.

Deep Sedation and General Anesthesia

In these two types of dental sedation, certain drugs are administered that will make you almost or completely unconscious. Patients who are under general anesthesia cannot wake up until the effects of the drugs pass. Reversing these effects is possible with certain medication.

People who will benefit the most from dental sedation are the ones that have severe fear and anxiety episodes right before they go to a dentist. Sedation is available for different types of dentistry, such as prosthetic, implant, reconstructive and cosmetic dentistry. Patients who have what is called “dental phobia” should be aware of the fact that sedation dentistry can help them to overcome their fear and anxiety. You may feel nervous when you sit on the dentist’s chair, but you will become calm and relaxed once sedation medication starts to work.

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