Although most dental procedures are painless, for some individuals, dental anxiety can be so severe that they neglect their oral health. Sleep or sedation dentistry is a solution that allows those with a fear or anxiety of dental procedures to undergo the treatments they need. There are several sedation methods that dentists and patients may consider for sleep dentistry.
- Oral Sedation
The majority of patients undergoing sleep dentistry are sedated with oral medication. Oral sedatives, either in the form of a pill or liquid, are typically taken by a patient shortly before arriving for a procedure. The patient is conscious but relaxed and drowsy throughout the appointment.
- Inhalation Sedation
Nitrous oxide, commonly known as “laughing gas,” is a sedative that patients inhale prior to procedures. Like oral sedation, inhalation sedation allows patients to relax while remaining awake. If necessary, sedatives can also be administered through inhalation during or after a procedure.
- Intravenous (IV) Sedation
Sedatives that are administered intravenously can induce conditions from drowsiness to deep sleep depending on the particular drug and dosage. This is classified as general anesthesia. For sleep dentistry, IV sedation is typically used only to make patients calm and comfortable in the same manner as oral sedation or inhalation sedation.
With all forms of sedation, it is important to be prepared and informed before undergoing treatment. If you think that sleep dentistry is right for you, a licensed professional can help you decide which option is best. At West Chester Dental Arts, our dentists are highly qualified with years of experience in oral sedation dentistry. To learn more about how your next dental procedure can be a relaxed and comfortable experience, please call us today at (610) 228-0736.