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Sedation Dentistry: Can This Help Overcome Your Fear?

Does the thought of visiting a dentist make you nervous and scared? Would you rather bear the agony of excruciating toothache than visit a dental clinic? You are not alone! Many have a hidden fear about visiting a dentist and prefer not to have any treatment! However, there is a better solution since oral care is crucial to avoid dental problems. 

The family dentist in Lakeview, Chicago, and their team help their patients cope with dental fear and anxiety through sedation. This can be used for simple to invasive procedures for a smooth process without any hassles.

An overview of sedation dentistry

Sedation dentistry is a specialized branch that focuses on relieving stress and pain during dental procedures through medications. It helps you stay calm and relaxed so that the dentist can perform dental treatments with ease. It is also called conscious sedation or “twilight sleep” since technically you will be awake, but in a relaxed state feeling carefree. It creates short-term amnesia (forgetfulness) where you will experience insensitivity to pain without the loss of consciousness.

The levels of sedation used include:

  • Minimal sedation: You are awake, but relaxed.
  • Moderate sedation: You are awake, but sedated and do not remember much about the procedure.
  • Deep sedation: You are on the edge of consciousness, but can be awakened in between.
  • General anesthesia: You are completely unconscious

Reasons for using sedation dentistry

Dentists often recommend sedation during dental procedures if you suffer from:

  • Dental Anxiety
  • A fear of visiting the dentist
  • Increased gag reflex
  • Extreme tooth sensitivity
  • Feeling of claustrophobia 
  • Decreased sensitivity to local anesthesia
  • Difficulty controlling movements
  • Special needs (behavioral, cognitive, or physical)

Types of Sedation 

The most common types of sedation dentistry include the following:

Nitrous oxide

This is commonly known as laughing gas, which is inhaled through a mask. It leads to calming effects within 3 to 5 minutes of inhalation. Once the procedure is over, your dentist will administer pure oxygen to flush out the nitrous oxide.

Oral conscious sedation

This method involves oral administration of sedative pills about an hour before the procedure. It may make you feel groggy, and recovery may not be as quick as nitrous oxide sedation.

Intravenous (IV) sedation

This is the deepest form of sedation where the medication is administered directly into your bloodstream through an IV line. You may fall asleep and have little to no memory of the treatment when you wake up. 

Wrapping up

Dental fear and anxiety are real, but they should not be the cause of avoiding dental visits. You deserve to receive quality dental care, which can be achieved through sedation dentistry.

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