While You Were Sleeping: Sedation Dentistry and You

Woman getting inhalation sedation

Are you afraid of going to the dentist? Don’t worry; many people are. Luckily, there are ways to lessen any anxieties you may have about sitting in the dentist’s chair. Enter: sedation dentistry. Also known as “sleep dentistry,” sedation dentistry uses sedatives to help people relax during their treatment.

The sedatives used for sleep dentistry as generally safe, especially when administered by experienced dentists and endodontists.

Types of Sedation

There are many techniques that an endodontist from Creekside Endodontics can use to sedate you during a dental procedure. Here are only a few:

  • Laughing Gas – With this type of sedation, you breathe nitrous oxide combined with oxygen through a breathing mask. This gas is used to relax patients. You will be conscious but won’t feel the pain. The effects of the gas are mild and often wear off very quickly. When you use laughing gas as a sedative, you are allowed to drive yourself home after the procedure.
  • Oral Sedation – Also known as “conscious sedation,” oral sedation involves you taking a sedative before your procedure. The sedation can range from mild to moderate, depending on the prescribed dose. The sedative may make you sleepy, though you will still be awake for your procedure.
  • IV Sedation – This type of sedation is administered intravenously. Since the sedative is received directly through the vein, it goes to work much more quickly. There are two types of IV sedation.
    • Twilight IV Sedation – With twilight IV sedation, you are conscious, but not fully aware of your surroundings. It makes you drowsy and you may not remember the procedure once it’s over.
    • General Anesthesia – Only patients who need significant oral surgery or who are resistant to the other types of sedation get this treatment. With general anesthesia, you are completely unconscious and unaware of the procedure. This type of sedation needs to happen under the supervision of an anesthesiologist who will administer the sedative and monitor your vital signs.
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Top Benefits of Sedation Dentistry

Sedation is helpful in many ways, according to the endodontists from Creekside Endodontics. Some of those ways include the following:

  • Sedation dentistry is comfortable. With sedatives, those with anxiety regarding dental procedures can relax and even fall asleep during their dentist visit. Those with sensitive gums, teeth, and gag reflexes can also benefit since they will be unaware of the procedure. They will be able to wake up from their treatment feeling well-rested.
  • With sedation dentistry, many dental procedures can be done in one visit. Since patients feel no pain and can remain comfortable for a longer amount of time, dentists can get more work done in one sitting.
  • Those with special needs, such as sensory processing or autism spectrum disorders, can greatly benefit from having sedation dentistry. People with these disorders experience hypersensitivity; with sedation, they can now get any teeth or gum issues treated without feeling discomfort or pain.
  • Sedatives are very effective in making patients feel calm, thus overriding any fear or anxiety that they may feel about their dentist visit. The amnesiac state associated with sedation can be very appealing to patients with anxiety about going to the dentist.

When you have many anxieties about your upcoming dental procedure, you can talk to your dentist or endodontist about getting sedatives before your treatment. Sedation dentistry can help you be at ease in the dentist’s chair.