It may seem impossible that there are individuals so afraid of the dentist, they will go decades without even having their teeth cleaned due to severe anxiety. Thankfully sedation dentistry is now available that allows those fearful patients to receive the treatment they need during an anxiety free dental appointment.
There are different types of sedation … your pediatric dentist may recommend nitrous oxide for a child (or adult) that requires treatment, but is nervous. Nitrous oxide places the patient in a mild state of euphoria, and its effects do not linger. When the need for sedation has subsided, nitrous oxide is discontinued and the patient returns to normal immediately. Nitrous oxide is approved for most patients.
For the patient that is extremely anxious; cannot sit or recline for extended periods; or has physical or mental limitations, oral conscious sedation may be recommended. With oral sedation, the patient consults with the dentist prior to the treatment appointment. A mild sedative is prescribed to be taken about one hour before the scheduled appointment.
Upon arrival at the office, the patient is given additional sedatives to be taken orally. The patient is monitored continually throughout the appointment; although awake, many report that they felt like they slept and cannot remember details about their appointment. Reliable transportation is required as the patient will be unable to drive to or from this appointment. The patient will be advised to go home and rest for the remainder of the day.
IV sedation is normally reserved for patients that require some type of surgical procedure such as removal of impacted third molars. With IV sedation, the patient is sedated intravenously rather than orally. Sedation works much quicker. Once the dental procedure is completed the patient again will be advised to return home for the day.
Although nitrous oxide is available in many dental offices, both oral and IV sedation dentistry require the dental provider and staff be trained in the delivery of these types of sedation; and the office must be properly equipped with what is required to maintain the safety and comfort of the patient.
Your pediatric dentist will gladly answer any questions you may have pertaining to the use of sedation dentistry. This tool has allowed many patients to receive the treatment needed in an atmosphere that might otherwise result in great anxiety. Call our caring team today!