Teeth and gums are highly sensitive, which is why it’s so common to be nervous about any type of oral procedure. Unfortunately, this fear often leads patients to put off much-needed treatments, which ultimately causes conditions like gum disease to get worse before they get better.
However, pain management has been a top focus in dentistry for hundreds of years, and dental professionals today have perfected the ability to administer anesthetics that make any procedure manageable.
One of the more popular solutions is conscious sedation. While many people wish to avoid the pain associated with dental surgery, the unconscious state caused by general anesthesia can make many feel uncomfortable as well. This is where sedation dentistry comes in. If you’re nervous about an upcoming oral procedure, it’s worth asking your periodontist about sedation dentistry today.
What Is Sedation Dentistry?
Sedation dentistry is an effective “middle-of-the-road” solution for pain management. Unlike general anesthesia, which is associated with a loss of consciousness, sedation dentistry allows you to remain awake through the entire procedure. You’ll feel relaxed, and generally unaware of the procedure that’s taking place, but will still be able to answer questions. There are a few different types of sedation dentistry. Regardless of the type you receive, the medication should always be administered in a safe environment and your dental professional will ensure your vital signs are monitored the entire time.
Common Types Of Sedation Dentistry
There are a few different types of sedation dentistry that can help manage pain associated with oral surgery while allowing patients to remain awake. Here are the three most common:
- Nitrous Oxide – Nitrous oxide, also known as “laughing gas”, is administered and inhaled through a mask. This helps you to feel instantly relaxed and can help relieve pain. One of the top benefits of Nitrous Oxide is it wears off quickly with few side effects. You’ll need to consult your periodontist on whether you’re able to drive to or from your appointment.
- Oral Sedation – This is one of the most popular forms of sedation dentistry. You can take oral medication at home prior to the procedure. By the time you arrive at the office, you should feel relaxed but alert, and should still be capable of answering questions. The pill will make you feel groggy, and some patients do fall asleep during procedures. However, you can be easily awakened. While it does wear off after a few hours, oral sedation will require you to arrange transportation to and from your appointment.
- IV Sedation – For fast results, sedation medication can also be administered with an IV. This is ideal when periodontists need to make quick adjustments to medication levels. You’ll also remain conscious under IV sedation, but may feel groggy during the procedure and tired afterward. You’ll also need to arrange transportation to and from your appointment.
All three options allow you to remain awake and alert throughout the entire procedure. Sedation dentistry solutions are often used in combination with a local anesthetic, which is applied to the surgery area. The use of both helps to ensure your procedure is pain-free.
Is Dental Sedation For Me?
Dentists and periodontists usually turn to dental sedation solutions for patients suffering from dental anxiety. The good news is dental sedation is usually safe for most ages. However, it’s important to review your medical history with your provider before the procedure. Certain medical conditions or medications may disqualify you for dental sedation.
Some patients do everything possible to avoid dental procedures out of fear, but with today’s highly effective pain management techniques, that’s really not necessary. Periodontists are able to ensure you remain comfortable throughout the entire procedure.
At Ormond Beach Perio, we utilize numerous methods of sedation dentistry to ensure successful outcomes of oral procedures. This includes oral sedation (pill), IV sedation, and Nitrous Oxide. We do everything we can to ensure our patients are as comfortable as possible, so we’ll work with you to come up with the right combination of sedation dentistry solutions to help manage pain.
If you’re nervous about seeking treatment for gum disease, grafting procedures, or dental implants contact Ormond Beach Perio today. Dr. Stuart Beauchamp would be happy to provide a consultation.