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Some people have such a fear of the dentist that they will avoid going even if it’s absolutely necessary. Patients who have this kind of nervousness need to know that this is not that uncommon. However, they can’t sacrifice the health of their teeth because of this. Thankfully, there is the option of sedation dentistry that can calm their anxiety levels.

How Sedation is Used in Dentistry

Although sedation dentistry is also called “sleep dentistry”, this is a misconception. The fact is, patients are very rarely asleep when they are under sedation at the office. The idea is to calm the patient just enough so the dentist can perform the necessary work on their teeth undisturbed.

Kinds of Mild Sedation

The most common type of sedation a dentist will use is nitrous oxide. This is what is commonly referred to as “laughing gas”, and it’s been used by dentists for many years. It’s given to patients through a nose hood throughout the whole procedure. It makes patients feel more relaxed and also reduces the pain. It’s a mild sedative with very few side effects, if any. Sometimes it can cause a mild tingling sensation and numbness.

Oral conscious sedation involves administering a pill to the patient before the procedure. They do not cause the patient to fall asleep, but they do dull the senses and provide patients with a general feeling of well-being.

Types of Deep Sedation

Intravenous sedation involves administering medications via needle into the veins. The drug takes effect very quickly and the level of sedation it provides can be adjusted throughout the procedure with further injections. This can be effective for patients who are not afraid of needles.

If necessary, patients might need to be unconscious during a procedure. This is when general anesthesia is used. The effects of the medication take time to wear off and patients are advised to have someone else drive them home or to stay at the clinic for the required time needed to come to full consciousness. Most dentists are fully licensed to provide their patients with mild sedatives like nitrous oxide or sedatives.

Don’t let the fear of dentistry keep you from maintaining healthy teeth. Contact the office of Dr. Jamie Elizabeth Sands today to schedule your appointment. By working together, you can find out if sedation dentistry is suitable for your needs.