Do you feel anxious at the idea of visiting the dentist? Dental sedation can help nervous or anxious patients relax so that they are able to receive the dental care they need, but might otherwise avoid.
Patients suffering from high levels of anxiety or oral sensitivity may be able to receive dental sedation to help them get through anything from routine cleanings to more invasive procedures.
The need for dental sedation is assessed by the dentist on an individual basis, and how dental sedation is used depends on the severity of the patient's fear.
There are four main types of sedation:
- Minimal sedation: You will feel more relaxed but still be able to walk, talk and breathe normally. You will not fall asleep.
- Moderate sedation: You'll feel drowsy, although you aren't actually asleep. You should still be able to talk, hear and respond. Depending on which medications are used, you may or may not remember the procedure. You will still require local anesthetic at the treatment site to control pain.
- Deep sedation: You will be asleep and once the treatment is finished you won't remember anything about the procedure. Since your pain reflexes will still be intact (though significantly dulled), local anesthetic will still be required at the site of your treatment.
- General anesthesia: You'll be unconscious (feel as if you're asleep) and not feel pain. Your reflexes are absent and you will require assistance in breathing. This is the deepest level of sedation.
It's important receive the dental care you need. 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.