Many people dread going to the dentist, and the number one reason is fear of pain. Oral pain is never pleasant and some people attempt to avoid it at all costs. Some studies have shown 36% of people in the United States are afraid of going to the dentist. For some people, this fear can be so intense that they avoid seeking dental treatment altogether. For people suffering from severe gum disease, avoiding treatment will quickly make the problem worse.
What many people don’t know is that pain-free dental procedures are entirely possible. Dentists and periodontists have a wide range of pain management techniques they can deploy to help keep patients comfortable in the chair. Oral and IV sedation dentistry is one of the leading methods for helping patients to overcome anxiety and discomfort. During this process, sedation medication is administered to help eliminate anxiety and manage discomfort. Here are three benefits to receiving oral or IV sedation prior to a dental procedure:
1. Sedation Dentistry Keeps You Calm
Sedation dentistry helps you achieve a state of relaxation. It allows you to slip into a dreamlike “twilight sleep”, but you’ll still be awake enough to follow your dentist’s instructions. You’ll never lose consciousness, though it’s common to fall asleep. Once the sedation kicks in, any anxiety will disappear, and you’ll no longer be nervous about the procedure. Afterward, you won’t remember much about it either.
2. Sedation Dentistry Eases Discomfort
Sedation dentistry can help to ease general discomfort; however, it’s important to remember that it’s not an anesthetic. However, pain may be much greater when you’re in a heightened state of stress and your body is tense. Anticipation makes pain significantly worse. Oral and IV sedation helps you to calm your mind and body, which also helps to reduce discomfort.
Depending on the procedure, your provider may apply a local anesthetic in combination with your oral or IV sedation, which will really help to manage pain.
3. Sedation Dentistry Is Very Safe
When administered by professionals, oral and IV sedation is very safe. There is very little risk of complication, and the effect usually wears off shortly after the procedure. You can also expect little to no side effects, and you should feel back to normal by the next day.
In some cases, sedation may even be suitable for children. However, some patients may not qualify for oral or IV sedation based on pre-existing conditions, so it’s crucial to provide your dentist with your full medical history.
Options For Administering Sedation Dentistry
The two most common ways to receive sedation dentistry are orally or intravenously. Oral sedation is the easiest and most common. You simply take a pill at home shortly before coming into the dentist’s office. By the time you arrive, you’ll already be in a relaxed state. Many patients feel the most anxious in the hours leading up to the appointment and on the way to the office, so this strategy helps resolve that. With oral sedation, you can start to feel at ease before you’re in the dentist’s chair.
However, in some cases, sedation can be administered through an IV, which allows your provider to adjust the medication levels throughout the procedure. This is sometimes better for longer procedures as it’s easier to manage a patient’s comfort level. Regardless of the method, sedation is highly effective.
Regardless of the way it’s administered, you will need to arrange for transportation home from your appointment. You will not be able to drive yourself home after receiving oral or IV sedation.
Is Oral Or IV Sedation Right For Me?
At Ormond Beach Periodontics, you don’t need to white knuckle the chair. Patient comfort is our top priority, so we often recommend oral or IV sedation for patients who have been delaying gum disease treatment due to anxiety. We may also suggest it for more invasive procedures like gum flap surgery, which tends to be a bit more uncomfortable. The option is also ideal for people who have a sensitive gag reflex, teeth sensitivity, or special needs.
If you want to remain conscious through a dental procedure but wish to eliminate pain and anxiety, oral and IV sedation options might be the right choice for you. All you need to do is sit back, relax, and allow us to put you back on the road to good oral health. If you’re ready to smile brighter, contact the team at Ormond Beach Perio to schedule your appointment today.