Understanding Sedation Dentistry
According to a study by the Dental Organization for Conscious Sedation, nearly 30 percent of Americans avoid going to the dentist out of fear. This dental phobia is preventing people from getting the care they should from routine dental checkups. Thankfully, sedation dentistry can lessen fears about going to the dentist. The goal behind sedation dentistry is to provide an anxiety-free and relaxing experience. To understand how this works, you must understand sedation itself.
What Is Sedation?
Sedation is the process used to establish a calm and relaxed state with the use of sedatives. There are several ways that doctors and dentists can go about administering sedatives to patients. One of the most common is the inhalation method with nitrous oxide, sometimes referred to as laughing gas. This is preferred among most patients because it doesn’t involve getting an injection.
Levels of Sedation
There are multiple levels of sedation. Each one is used for a different purpose:
• Minimal sedation leaves the patient awake but in a relaxed state.
• Moderate sedation puts the patient in a much more relaxed state. At this level, the patient is still awake but won’t remember much of the procedure.
• Deep sedation leaves the patient on the very edge of consciousness. They are awake but have little idea what’s going on.
• General anesthesia is the level at which a person becomes completely unconscious.
No matter what kind of sedation you receive, it’s very common for your dentist to use a local anesthetic as well. This numbing medication is applied directly to the area where your dentist is performing a dental procedure. The anesthetic is used to relieve pain and discomfort.
There’s no need to be nervous about visiting the dentist. Contact Kesteven Dental Care for more information on sedation dentistry.