Sedation dentistry uses medication to help nervous or anxious patients relax so that they are able to receive the dental care they require, but might otherwise skip due to anxiety. Here's a little more about dental sedation.
For anything from routine cleanings to invasive procedures, patients suffering from high levels of anxiety or oral sensitivity may be able to receive dental sedation.
How dental sedation is used will depend largely on the severity of the patient's fear.
There are four main types of sedation:
- Minimal sedation: You won't fall asleep. Typically, you will feel more relaxed but be able to walk, talk and breathe normally.
- Moderate sedation: You should still be able to talk, hear and respond but you'll feel drowsy, although you aren't actually asleep. You will still require local anesthetic at the treatment site and depending on which medications are used, you may or may not remember the procedure.
- Deep sedation: You will be asleep and won't remember anything about the procedure once it's over. Local anesthetic will still be required at the site of your treatment since your pain reflexes, though significantly dulled, will still be intact.
- General anesthesia: This is the deepest level of sedation. You will be unconscious (feel as if you're asleep) and not feel pain. Your reflexes are absent and you will require assistance in breathing.
If you suffer from dental anxiety, general anxiety disorder, resistance to local anesthetic or unusually sensitive oral nerves, dental sedation may be an option for you.