Have you been putting off that visit to the dentist or periodontist? 36% of people in the United States have a fear of the dentist and 12% report a “severe fear.” We get it. The thought of an invasive dental procedure doesn’t always leave patients with warm and fuzzy feelings, but delaying treatment can result in compounding adverse effects on your oral health. We also find patients who need care for chronic gum disease or other issues are often more likely to procrastinate when seeking treatment.
The truth of the matter is dental procedures don’t have to be uncomfortable. If you need a tooth extraction, gum disease treatment, or dental implant placement, your periodontist can minimize pain and keep you relaxed throughout the entire process. Sedation Dentistry is a technique that helps keep patients calm, and it’s just one of the many ways we prioritize patient comfort at Ormond Beach Periodontics.
Don’t delay your dental treatment out of fear. Learn about all the benefits of sedation dentistry below:
What Is Sedation Dentistry?
Sedation dentistry is the practice of increasing patient comfort through medication, which is administered orally, intravenously, or through a mask prior to a dental procedure. As a result, patients feel calm and relaxed when the procedure begins. While sometimes the concept is referred to as “sleep dentistry”, this isn’t entirely accurate as patients never actually lose consciousness (unless they are placed under general anesthesia).
Sedation can be administered at different levels depending on the anxiety of the patient. Most patients receive a mild to moderate dose, which leaves them feeling relaxed, but alert — and they may not remember some or all of the procedure. Deep sedation is sometimes used, which brings patients to the edge of consciousness; however, they can be easily awakened. Your periodontist will discuss which level of sedation dentistry is right for you.
Sedation Dentistry Options At Ormond Beach Periodontics
If you’re nervous about an upcoming periodontal treatment, Ormond Beach Periodontics offers light sedation dentistry solutions to help put you at ease. Below are a few options available to our patients:
- Oral Sedation – This is the most common type of sedation dentistry. You can take a pill about an hour before the procedure and from the comfort of your own home. While there are many types of oral sedation pills, Halcion, which is in the Valium family, is one of the most common. With this form of light sedation, you will feel calm and comfortable by the time you’re in the chair. You may feel a bit groggy and even fall asleep during the procedure, but you’ll be easily awakened. It’s important not to drive yourself to or from the appointment after taking oral sedation.
- Nitrous Oxide – This form of light sedation is administered in the office. Before the procedure, you will inhale Nitrous Oxide (also known as laughing gas) through an Oxygen mask over your nose. You will feel comfortable within a matter of minutes and the effects wear off quickly.
- I.V. Sedation – I.V. sedation is received intravenously in the office. While this isn’t the most common option, it does allow us to dial up or down the medication as needed.
The level and type of sedation you receive will be determined by your level of anxiety and current health. Regardless, you won’t be able to drive yourself home, so be sure to arrange transportation.
While sedation can make you calm and relaxed, it’s usually used in conjunction with local anesthesia such as Novocaine, which will help numb the mouth. It’s also important to remember that sedation dentistry is different than general anesthesia. With sedation dentistry, the goal is not to ensure patients are unconscious, instead, it’s to help relieve anxiety and minimize pain while patients remain fully awake.
Is Sedation Dentistry Safe?
Sedation solutions have been used for many years and are considered very safe when administered by an experienced periodontist practice like Ormond Beach Perio. However, not everyone is a candidate. Certain medications and conditions may disqualify you, so be sure and discuss your medical history with your periodontist. Determining the appropriate dose is also important for patient safety. Your periodontist will ask you about your level of anxiety about the procedure and help determine the right level of medication.
For anyone who dreads the thought of dental work, sedation techniques are a great solution to help you minimize anxiety while taking control of your oral health. With sedation dentistry, there is no need to worry about that upcoming dental procedure.
At Ormond Beach Perio, we have many options available to ensure your treatment is as smooth and comfortable as possible. Contact us today to schedule your consultation.