Dental fears and anxieties can range from mild to severe. For some patients, dental phobias can be severe enough to cause them to avoid oral health care and dental appointments. What if we told you there is a simple way to reduce your stress and anxiety while improving your oral health? Now you can with sedation dentistry in Hermitage, TN!
We want our patients to feel comfortable in our office and confident in their smiles. Here, we will break down what sedation dentistry is, the common types, and what to expect from dental sedation.
What is sedation dentistry?
Sedation dentistry refers to the medications and techniques used to create a sense of calm during dental procedures. The main purpose is to help patients feel at ease and to sit still throughout their dental treatments. There are varying levels of sedation, ranging from medication to take off the edge and produce mild relaxation to deep relaxation at the point of possibly falling asleep or not remembering the procedure.
What sedation is used for dentistry in Hermitage, TN?
Sedation dentistry is safe for use in patients of all ages. However, the dosage is controlled based on the patient’s age, weight, and medical history. The medication must be closely monitored throughout the dental procedure. Dentists who provide sedation must undergo extra training and certification to offer the service.
The most common uses for dental sedation include:
- Easing dental fears or anxieties
- Relaxing patients with a strong gag reflex
- Addressing and treating extremely sensitive teeth
- Treating patients who need significant amounts of dental work, making it easier to complete more treatments in one visit
- Helping the youngest patients sit still
- Treating patients with special needs
There are three main forms of sedation dentistry. Each provides a different level of calm and relaxation and is chosen based on the patient’s age, anxiety level, ability to sit still, and treatments required. We offer the following types of sedation in our Hermitage dental office:
Nitrous oxide or laughing gas
Also called laughing gas, nitrous oxide (N2O) is a mild form of sedation. This colorless, odorless gas is delivered through a mask that is placed over the patient’s nose. As the patient breathes in the gas, the medication delivers a sense of calm within minutes. Contrary to its name, nitrous oxide does not cause patients to laugh but makes them comfortable and less inhibited.
Nitrous oxide works quickly to calm patients. Once the treatment is completed, pure oxygen is delivered through the mask. This removes the effects of the laughing gas so that patients can return to their normal activities. They can even drive themselves home.
Oral conscious sedation
Oral sedation is delivered through a prescription medication. Your dentist gives you a sedative to take by mouth about an hour before your dental appointment. Oral conscious sedation is often recommended for patients with moderate dental anxiety.
Once the sedative sets in, the patient feels groggy and may fall asleep. However, he/she is still responsive and can communicate as needed. Patients who do fall asleep will easily awaken with a gentle nudge or tap.
Since this sedative temporarily affects memory and motor skills, patients cannot drive themselves home after the appointment. Patients also may have little memory of the treatment which helps ease future anxiety about dental procedures.
IV sedation is another form of conscious sedation, but it is administered intravenously or through your vein. The sedative takes effect quickly, producing a deep sedative effect. While the patient is not asleep as with general anesthesia, he/she may be less aware of the surroundings.
IV sedation is a good option for patients with severe dental anxiety. The treatment creates a sense of amnesia so patients have no memory of their dental procedures. It also allows patients to sit still for longer periods of time and for more extensive treatments.
What to expect during sedation dentistry
Dental sedation is designed to help patients stay calm and sit through their dental care treatments. There are little to no side effects.
Do you feel pain with sedation dentistry?
Dental sedation keeps patients comfortable during their procedures. The dentist uses a combination of sedative medicine and an anesthetic to control discomfort. The sedative keeps patients calm and relaxed; while the anesthetic numbers the area and reduces pain sensations.
Are you awake during dental sedation?
Depending on the type of sedation used, you may or may not be awake. Patients who receive nitrous oxide are fully awake and able to communicate during their treatments. With oral sedation, the feeling of relaxation is deeper. Most patients stay awake and can communicate; however, some do fall asleep.
Although IV sedation is sometimes called sleep dentistry, it is not the same as general anesthesia. This treatment creates a very deep sedation and sense of calm. Patients are relaxed, comfortable, and sleepy.
Patients receiving oral or IV sedation will need a family member to transport them to and from the dentist.
How do you feel after sedation dentistry?
Laughing gas is the only type of sedation that wears off immediately. At the end of the treatment, the medication is turned off and oxygen is administered. The light sedation leaves the body, and the patient is ready to return to normal activities.
Oral conscious sedation and IV sedation may temporarily affect the memory and motor skills. This may leave patients feeling groggy or relaxed for a short time after the treatment. This is why transportation is required for these treatments.
Get dental sedation in Hermitage, TN
If you have dental anxiety, fear not, you can still have a beautiful, healthy smile. At Dental Bliss Hermitage, we keep patients relaxed and comfortable throughout their procedures. Our spa-like atmosphere and compassionate, gentle team create a calming environment for all patients.
Take control of your oral health with the help of dental sedation in Hermitage, TN! Book an appointment today!