Dental phobia is a common problem many people have. The sights and sounds of a dental clinic can be very overwhelming for some. Poor experiences with dentists early in childhood can leave a negative and lasting impression. Luckily there are many forms of sedation available for patients with mild to severe dental phobia.
What Is Sedation Dentistry?
Sedation dentistry involves giving the patient a sedative that relaxes them without putting them fully to sleep. This is sometimes referred to as “conscious sedation”, as the patient is still awake during the treatment. They can respond to the dentist if needed and alert the dentist if something is wrong.
Patients who receive sedation typically don’t remember anything about the treatment despite being awake. Memories either aren’t made during the sedation, or are made poorly. Some people do remember procedures being done.
Who Might Need Sedation
Anyone who is so nervous about visiting the dentist that they would rather deal with pain than get it treated is an ideal candidate for sedation. There are certain health conditions that might dictate what type of sedation is suitable for a patient; the dentist will explain these options in depth with the patient.
Oral sedation is the use of medication to sedate the patient. The dentist will give the patient the oral sedative in advance of the treatment date, and instruct the patient when to take the pills. Generally this is the night prior to the treatment, and a few hours beforehand. This can change depending on the type of sedative. The patient will eventually feel calm and relaxed enough to undergo the dental treatment.
Post Sedation Care
Although the sedatives start to wear off fairly quickly, it’s always advised that patients arrange to get transport from the clinic after sedation. No work or driving should be performed within 24 hours after the appointment, as trace amounts of the sedative can hang around in the bloodstream.