If your dentist is planning a long procedure such as pulling several teeth for implants, or if you just have a fear of pain, then sedation might be a good choice for you. Sedation dentistry makes it easier to endure long treatments, and it also helps you overcome fear and pain. Here are some important things you should know about sedation dentistry.
You're Not Unconscious
While it's possible that you'll be so relaxed that you fall asleep on your own, the sedative you receive isn't designed to knock you out. Instead, you'll be in a state of conscious sedation. That means you can talk to the dentist and follow instructions he or she gives you. You'll breathe on your own and be semi-alert. Compare this to general anesthesia where you are unconscious and unable to move or breathe without assistance.
You'll Need Local Anesthetic Too
Since you're not unconscious when you're in the dentist chair, you can still feel pain unless you have a local anesthetic. If you're having a procedure that is potentially painful like a root canal, extraction, or implant, then your dentist will also give you a shot of local anesthetic to numb the area. If one of the reasons you avoid the dentist is because you have a hard time getting numb, then this should be less of a concern with sedation dentistry. The sedative and anesthetic work together to relax you and control your pain.
There Are Different Forms Of Sedation
The dentist you choose may have a preferred method of sedation, or you might choose one with the help of the dentist. Choices are gas, IV, and pill. Gas makes you feel giddy and provides a light numbing effect. It can be helpful when you need help to relax for an anesthetic injection or other short-lasting need. A long dental procedure will probably require an IV or a pill. A pill is taken well before the procedure, so it has time to take effect. An IV can be closely controlled, and it's fast-acting. Whether you have an IV or a pill, you'll need someone to help you home from the dentist office because it won't be safe for you to drive.
Light Amnesia Could Be A Side Effect
A side benefit of sedation dentistry is that you don't remember much of what happened while you're under the effects of the drug. This could be a big benefit if you'll be undergoing a long procedure. Time seems to fly by, and the dental work is over before you know it.
Talk to your dentist about sedation options when you need dental work done, and you've been putting it off due to a fear of needles, dental drills, or pain. When you're totally relaxed, the ordeal is much easier to endure, and you'll be able to maintain good oral health and save your teeth from decay.