Millions of Americans are avoiding visits to the dentist annually due to dental anxiety and fear. Many have access to state-of-the-art offices and friendly dental teams that work hard to make all patients feel comfortable and welcome. However, some need extra help relaxing during visits. Those patients benefit from visiting a sedation dentist. To learn more, contact Lovett Dental Sharpstown today. 

Understanding Sedation Dentistrya man receives treatment from a houston sedation dentist

For those who feel anxious about visiting a dentist, sedation dentistry could be a way of helping you feel comfortable. A sedation dentist used a variety of medications to help patients relax during routine dental procedures or surgery.

Medications could be in the form of a pill, receiving it through an IV, or inhaling nitrous oxide. Some professionals refer to these methods as sleep dentistry. The main reason is that some medicines can cause be in such a relaxed state that they fall asleep.

Patients who receive conscious sedation are awake yet relaxed throughout procedures. This type of sedation dentistry helps improve a patient’s anxiety while simultaneously providing them with comfort. Because patients are receiving sedation medication, that could lead to feeling sluggish and tired after procedures.

About the Different Types of Sedation Dentistry

Each form of sedation that a sedation dentist uses has unique benefits. These medications are not only beneficial to adults but pediatric patients as well. After reviewing the patient’s medical history, the most appropriate recommendation for a technique occurs. The additional elements the dentist reviews include how long the procedure takes, as well as the patient’s anxiety severity before treatments.

Examples of the different types of sedation dentistry include the following:

General Anesthesia

When patients undergo certain types of dental work, a sedation dentist might offer them general anesthesia. Even though this form of sedation is not always necessary, it is beneficial in the following cases:

  • Children and other pediatric patients who are too young for tolerating major dental work or are extremely anxious
  • Those receiving dental implant surgery
  • Wisdom tooth removal and other tooth extractions
  • Root canal procedures
  • Gum surgery
  • Emergency dental procedures or oral surgeries

IV Sedation

IV sedation, also called intravenous sedation, involves injecting the patient’s vein with medication. Unlike those who receive oral sedation medication and are awake, IV sedation causes an unconscious state. These patients are not aware of the dental treatment they are receiving and, before they know what is happening, they are awake, and it is complete.

Patients who are ages three years and older can receive IV sedation medication. Patients choosing this option often remark about feeling rested following their procedure. The drug typically lasts for one hour, which is the average timeframe a dentist needs for completing the dental procedure.

Laughing Gas (Nitrous Oxide)

Breathing in nitrous oxide through a mask that the dentist places over a patient’s nose is a mild sedation technique. The effects are quick, and as a result, patients feel the relaxation they need. Within minutes, this medication wears off. However, before the dentist removes the mask, they make sure the patient is inhaling oxygen. That way, dentists are sure the nitrous oxide is no longer in their bodies. The dentist may require patients to limit their food intake before the appointment because, in rare cases, laughing gas causes nausea.

Oral Sedation

When dentists administer oral sedation, it is in the form of a pill or a drink. Adults receive this option as a way of helping them relax while remaining awake during their appointment. Patients should plan for another person to drive them home because oral sedation can cause drowsiness. While it is rare, nausea could be a side effect of using oral sedation.

Visit a Certified Sedation Dentist

When a sedation dentist is certified, that means they have certification and licensing for administering IV sedation. These dentists also receive specialized training and are legally certified by the Board of Dental Examiners within their state. This certification allows them to administer medications to alter the consciousness of a patient to ensure they receive pain-free and comfortable treatment.

Learn More About Sedation Dentistry at Lovett Dental Sharpstown Today

Do you or a family member feel anxiety before visiting a dentist? Do you have more questions about how a sedation dentist can help relieve that feeling? No one should have to experience these issues without the best support. Now is the time to contact Lovett Dental Sharpstown 972.848.8947 to learn more about your options, as well as how we can help.