Dental checkups and procedures are neglected by many people due to the dread of sitting in the dentist’s chair for any type of dental work, whether it’s big or small. It’s not an uncommon situation, which is why dentists have come up with a way to combat dental anxiety. The answer is sedation dentistry, a popular technique designed to relax patients so they can have necessary dental work done.
Sedation dentistry involves administering different types of sedatives prior to dental work. The degree of sedation varies depending on the goals and the level of consciousness desired.
Here are the main categories of dental sedation:
- Minimal sedation reduces nervousness and pain, while the patient remains awake and responsive during the procedure.
- Moderate sedation relaxes the patient even more and pain is almost entirely eliminated, and the doctor must give very firm directions for patients to follow.
- Deep sedation produces complete unconsciousness and inability to respond at all during the procedure.
No matter the level of sedation chosen, each technique reduces pain and calms the patient. Most patients do not remember the procedure, and therefore have no negative memories associated with it.
When the whitening is performed in the office, an ultraviolet light is typically used to speed up the process. It activates the whitening gel and enhances its action on your teeth. The combination of the gel and the special light works together for dramatic results on your smile. The whole process takes about an hour.
Sedation dentistry is popular not only with patients who no longer experience pain or fear related to dental visits, but also for dentists. With the increased patient comfort, dentists can perform procedures thoroughly and more quickly than on patients who are apprehensive. Dentists are also able to perform multiple procedures in one appointment when the patient is under sedation.
As with any medical treatment, patients should inform the dentist about any allergies, current medications, and previous reactions to sedation. The types of sedatives that dentists use are well tested and safe for this purpose, and the process is a life-saver for many patients who otherwise avoid dental work.