Sedation dentistry is a common practice to help patients with dental anxiety receive the care they need. It is not necessary for any particular procedure, and depends only on the need of the individual. In fact, some patients really dislike the use of sedatives and may never opt to include them in their dental treatments.
If you think sedation dentistry may be beneficial to you, here are a few points worth considering!
Types of Sedation
There is no ‘silver bullet’ sedation treatment, and there are actually many different options. Once we take into account the procedure and your individual levels of anxiety, we can then discuss the most effective choice that fits your specific needs. When it comes to selecting a form of sedation, consider the following factors:
- As far as their effects go, the different forms of sedation range from: light, moderate, deep, and unconscious. Light sedation will keep you awake and alert, with mild relaxing qualities; this could be described as “taking the edge off”, and is a good choice for those with minimal anxiety. With moderate sedation you still remain conscious, though you may not remember as much about it; you will still be able to communicate, but will likely slur your words or feel groggy. Deep sedation renders you semi- or fully unconscious and you will not regain lucidity until the sedative wears off or is reversed by the doctor, recovery also may take longer.
- Some sedatives will inhibit your ability to drive for as long as they remain in your system. Counter-intuitively, light sedation does not mean it wears off sooner and heavy does not mean its effects last longer. It is fully possible to take a light sedative that prevents you from driving for several hours, or experience a deeper sedation that is ended immediately. Please consider whether or not you will want to find a ride to and/or from our office.
- Sedatives are administered differently, and some patients are uncomfortable with certain methods. Oral sedatives would not be a good choice for patients who dislike taking pills, and IV sedatives would not be a good choice for patients who are afraid of needles. Each process is a little different and should be considered carefully based on your preferences and comfort.
- The cost of sedatives can vary significantly as well – oral sedatives may be a relatively inexpensive option, while general anesthesia can be costly as it is only administered by a specialist who monitors you throughout the procedure. If cost is a concern, please let us know and we can discuss payment methods.
Sedation dentistry is a fantastic option for those who may otherwise fear receiving the treatment they need. If you think you may be a candidate please talk to us! It is always best to ensure you are in good health and have access to quality medical care. Don’t let dental anxiety negatively impact your health. Our trained staff is here to answer your questions, and find the best option to keep you smiling.
Keep an eye out for our topic next month, as we will discuss the specific methods of sedation dentistry, as well as their pros and cons!
3020 North Military Trail, Suite 200
Boca Raton, FL 33431