Dental sedation is not always needed, but it can be a great option for patients who struggle with dental anxiety or phobia. Even patients who don’t typically have anxiety around going to the dentist can benefit from dental sedation from time to time. If you’re worried about upcoming dental treatment, ask your dentist about which sedation options are available.
Patients that need dental sedation have three options. If you are interested in receiving sedation medication for an upcoming dental visit, talk to your dentist to determine which option is best for your needs.
A common choice for patients that experience anxiety about seeing the dentist is an oral sedative. These tablets, prescribed by your dentist before your appointment, contain a mild sedative.
You can pick these up from your convenient local pharmacy. The medication is taken before arriving for your dental visit, so they have enough time to take effect before we start your treatment.
Nitrous Oxide – also known as laughing gas – is administered through a small mask worn over your nose. As you inhale the gas (which is mixed with a particular oxygen concentration), you’ll feel emotionally calm and physically relaxed.
You’ll wear the mask for the entire procedure. Once we’ve completed treatment, we’ll turn off the nitrous oxide, and you’ll inhale pure oxygen until you feel more alert.
IV sedation, or general sedation, is a medication in liquid form and is administered through an IV in your arm.
While oral medications and nitrous oxide relax you, you’re still awake during your procedure. General sedation puts you to sleep so you aren’t aware of anything that’s going on as we perform your treatment.
When we complete the procedure, we’ll stop administering the sedatives and allow you to wake up gradually.
Dental sedation is also known as “sleep dentistry.” A dentist administers a sedative medication before or during a dental procedure to help the patient relax.
To administer sedative medicine, your dentist receives specialized training. Once they’ve completed the training, they’ll receive a certificate and permit to administer this type of medication legally.
During the procedure, a sedated patient is constantly monitored. They are never left alone while under the influence of sedatives. All equipment used to administer sedatives is routinely checked and maintained to ensure patient safety.
The main reasons for a dentist to administer dental sedation are:
To reduce dental anxiety
To ensure patient comfort
Your Comfort Dental team will always work hard to make sure patients feel comfortable and relaxed during their dental visits. However, some patients have higher levels of anxiety in general or anxiety that’s specifically related to dental visits. Some patients are so fearful of going to the dentist that they have an actual dental phobia and miss out on getting much needed treatment.
Anxiety around dental procedures is normal, especially when receiving more complex services like oral surgery or dental crowns. Sometimes, though, patients with severe anxiety have difficulty even sitting through a routine exam or dental cleaning.
In these cases, it is difficult for the patient to relax enough for us to perform the treatment. Using sedative medication helps the patient relax and feel at ease so we can take care of their dental needs.
Regardless of what type of sedative medication you receive, you must have someone drive you to and from your appointment. Operating a vehicle while under the influence of sedatives is illegal and tantamount to driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. We want to make sure you (and other drivers) remain safe, so we will not administer sedative medication unless we know you have a licensed driver to take you home.
We understand that dental visits can be anxiety-inducing. We want to do all we can to make you feel calm, comfortable, and confident during your visits to Comfort Dental in Providence or Central Falls, RI. If you think sedation might be something that can help ease your mind during dental visits, we’re happy to discuss your needs and options.
Would you like to learn more about your sedation options?
Contact our team to schedule a consultation.Contact Us