If you are afraid of the dentist or you have an exceedingly low pain threshold, sedation dentistry may be just what the doctor ordered: literally. If you quake with fear or have a knot in the pit of your stomach whenever you even think of going to the dentist, you are not alone. A lot of people have dental phobias which are so bad they refuse treatment until they hurt so bad they can’t stand it anymore.
Luckily for anyone with a dental phobia, sedation dentistry can make your visit pleasant, reducing anxiety and eliminating pain. At Joondalup City Dental, we use sedation dentistry on all procedures from basic cleaning to more involved procedures such as wisdom teeth removal.
How Sedation Dentistry Works
Sedation dentistry is a process where we give you medicine to help you relax during a procedure. This is often called “sleep dentistry,” but we don’t always put you to sleep. We allow you to choose your preferred level of sedation:
Minimal sedation means you are awake, but mildly sedated and very relaxed.
Moderate sedation, which was once called “conscious sedation,” is a deeper sedation in which you might not remember much about your procedure and will probably be slurring words.
Deep sedation means you are on the edge of being unconscious, but can be awakened if necessary.
General anaesthesia, which is given to surgery patients in hospitals, means you are completely unconscious.
The Different Types of Sedation Used in Dentistry
Inhaled Minimal Sedation: We place a mask over your nose and you breathe a combination of oxygen and nitrous oxide, known as “laughing gas.” This helps you relax. The dentist has total control of the amount of nitrous oxide you receive. Nitrous oxide wears off fast, allowing patients to drive themselves home after the procedure.
Oral Sedation: Oral sedation can range from minimal sedation to moderate sedation. When we provide minimal sedation, we give you a pill to take. It is a sedative that you usually take about an hour before we perform the procedure. You will still be awake, but you will be drowsy. To produce moderate sedation, we provide you with a larger dose.
This is the type of anaesthesia that is provided most often for sedation dentistry. Some people actually fall asleep during the procedure, but can be awakened at the end with gentle jostling.
IV Moderate Sedation: We provide the sedative through an IV system, straight into your vein. This is a lot faster than oral sedation. The dentist also has control of the amount of sedative you receive on a minute to minute basis and is able to control it for your maximum comfort.
Deep Sedation and General Anaesthesia: These are stronger medications that will put you to sleep. In the case of general anaesthesia, we can’t awaken you without using other medications. Usually, we wait until the drug wears off and you wake back up on your own.
Local Anaesthesia: We always use local anaesthesia around the site being worked to ensure that no discomfort is caused by the procedure. This is similar to a double lock system that prevents pain from invading your anaesthetic state.
Who Benefits the Most From Sedation Dentistry
While anyone can choose sedation dentistry, those with severe anxiety usually benefit the most. If your anxiety prevents you from going to the dentist, even when you know you need to, sedation dentistry may be the answer for you.
Others benefit from sedation dentistry, too. If you have a low pain threshold that isn’t taken care of by oral anaesthetic, sedation dentistry can help you. Other reasons for sedation dentistry: you can’t sit still in the dentist’s chair, you have a very active gag reflex, your teeth are very sensitive or you need a large amount of dental work done in one session.
Call Joondalup City Dental for Safe Sedation Dentistry
Sedation dentistry may not be for everyone. You need a highly-trained and qualified dentist to perform sedation dentistry and keep it safe for you. To learn more, call Joondalup City Dental today: (08) 9404 9500.