If the idea of visiting the dentist makes you scared or tense, you’re not alone. We’re certainly no strangers to this negative stigma, but we can assure you that an appointment with us is far preferable to living with a toothache, cavity or other problem. For most people, apprehension toward the dentist can be traced back to a very common factor: fear of pain or the invasiveness that comes with several treatments. In many cases, that vulnerability alone is enough to keep a significant number of people from setting foot in our door. Fortunately, we have a solution for such nervous patients.
Today, we at Lakewood Dental Arts will answer a few of the most frequently asked questions about sedation dentistry, from how it works to the process of each method and, most importantly, whether it’s the right choice for you. If you or a loved one suffer from anxiety about the dentist and are considering sedation, please make an appointment to discuss your options today by calling (562) 384-1091.
What does “sedation” mean?
Sedation involves the act of administering a drug to the patient prior to beginning any treatment. The process is also called “sleep dentistry”, but this is not entirely accurate since there are actually different levels of sedation based on factors such as the specific drug used as well as dosage. These levels are:
For most dental procedures, the patient is usually kept awake except when under general anesthesia.
What types of sedation are there?
Regardless of which method is applied, patients will also typically receive a local anesthetic to numb the target area for the procedure and relieve any pain or discomfort. Types of sedation include:
Who is sedation most appropriate for?
Sedation dentistry is generally reserved for individuals whose fear or anxiety hinders or prevents them from visiting the dentist. The following types of people generally stand to benefit the most from sedation:
Children may sometimes be given sedation if/when they are too afraid of the dentist or persistently uncooperative during their visit. After all, we can’t perform treatment safely if our patient is upset or refusing to sit still. Nitrous oxide is usually safe for kids and can be just as easily controlled. Fewer dentists on average are trained to administer oral sedation on children, though it can also be safe when kept within the recommended dosage for his/her age and weight.