Some patients get nervous when going to the dentist’s office. Sometimes they remember a traumatic experience they had when they were kids. Other times they fear the procedure that they may receive. Sometimes the thought of stepping foot into the dentist’s office is worse than the tooth pain itself. At times maybe the anxiety is too much that it makes their whole body tense up. Whatever the reason, having dental anxiety is very real and can be hard to overcome alone.
Sedation dentistry at our Boston dental practice is one solution that can help you keep calm during your dental visit. Sedation dentistry uses different forms of medication to help patients relax during a dental procedure.
Levels of Sedation
There are different levels of sedation. Understanding each of them is helpful to know which is best for you. Of course, your dentist will also help you to understand which option is best for you on a medical level. These are your options.
- Minimal Sedation – you are awake and aware but relaxed.
- Moderate Sedation – you are conscious and may slur your words while speaking. You may or may not remember much of the procedure.
- Deep Sedation – you are right on the edge of consciousness but can still be awakened.
- General Anesthesia – you are completely unconscious.
Types of Sedation
The following types of sedation are used in dental sedation. We will sit down with you individually to see what solution works best with the fears or concerns you may have.
Inhaled Minimal Sedation
You will breathe in nitrous oxide (“laughing gas”) combined with oxygen through a mask that is placed over your nose. This gas helps you to relax and can be controlled by your dentist and you usually can communicate with them as needed.
This can range from minimal to moderate. For minimal sedation, you would take a pill, in the same drug family as Valium and would usually be taken an hour before the procedure. It will make you drowsy but you will still be awake. A larger dose may be given to yield a moderate level of sedation. This is the most common form of sedation dentistry.
IV Moderate Sedation
In this form of sedation, you would receive the sedative drug through a vein. This way it would go to work more quickly. This method allows the dentist to adjust the level of sedation as needed.
Deep Sedation and General Anesthesia
This method allows you to have medication that will make you either almost unconscious or totally unconscious (deeply asleep) during the procedure.
We Can Help!
Sedation Dentistry is not for everyone. Those with real anxiety or fear that is preventing them from going to the dentist are the best suited for these types of sedation. However, it may also be appropriate for individuals who:
- Have a low pain threshold
- A gag reflex
- Can’t sit still in the dental chair
- Have sensitive teeth
- Need a large amount of dental work done
Other needs may arise where sedation is needed. We know this and are sensitive to our patients and will work with you to help you in any way we can.
Whatever the concern or need maybe we will sit down with you personally to help figure out what is the best solution for you or the loved one you care about. We care how you feel and we want you to have the best experience possible. We want you to be comfortable and your needs are important to us. Schedule an appointment today!