Sedation Dentistry Del City OK
Taking the Fear Out of Going to the Dentist
For a lot of people, the mere thought of going to the dentist is an extremely scary prospect. Many times, their fear is enough to keep them away from the dentist altogether. Sedation dentistry is often the answer for these people.
What Is Sedation Dentistry?
Sedation dentistry is when dentists use medication to help patients relax before and during their dental procedures. It is often referred to as “sleep dentistry,” although this isn’t entirely accurate as patients are usually awake while on the medication. The only time they are actually asleep is when they go under general anesthesia.
Sedation dentistry is also useful for patients who aren’t fearful of the dentist but who have a low threshold for pain or a sensitive gag reflex.
What Types of Sedation Are Available?
There are several different types of sedation available.
Local anesthetic is what most patients receive when they go to the dentist for a filling or other procedure. After a topical gel is applied so the needle stick isn’t painful, a numbing agent, usually lidocaine, is injected into the gums near where the treatment will be happening. The entire area will become numb so the patient, who is fully conscious, will not be able to feel anything during the procedure. The anesthesia wears off after a couple of hours.
Oral sedation is available for patients who have mild to moderate fear of the dentist. This is given to patients in the form of a pill taken about an hour before their procedure. It will make patients relaxed and drowsy during their procedure, although they will still likely be conscious. Because it makes patients groggy, they will have to have someone drive them to and from their appointment.
Often called “laughing gas,” nitrous oxide (N2O) is a colorless and odorless gas that is administered through an oxygen mask over the nose. It helps patients feel fully relaxed throughout their procedure. Patients remain fully conscious, but their level of anxiety is lessened considerably. We maintain strict control of the anesthesia while it is being used, and when the procedure is finished and the gas is turned off, patients return to normal almost immediately. This is a great option for anxious patients who still want to be able to drive themselves home.
Patients who have severe dental anxiety will be interested to learn that intravenous (IV) sedation is also available. Because the drug is delivered to the body through the bloodstream, it works very quickly. We monitor the level of sedation carefully. Patients are relaxed during the procedure—some even fall asleep—and usually will not remember anything about the experience afterward. Patients will need someone to drive them home from their appointment.
Contact Us for More Information
Don’t let fear keep you from getting the dental care you need. Learn more about sedation dentistry by calling our office. We can share more information with you about the benefits of sleep dentistry and recommend services that will best suit your anxiety level.