If you fear going to the dentist, you are not alone. Many people are afraid to go to the dentist, primarily because of the thought of the pain involved in the various procedures. Fortunately, Oral and Facial Surgery Center offers you different sedation options to manage your pain and anxiety.
IV sedation involves using medication to help patients be at ease during dental treatment procedures. This is also known as sedation dentistry and sleep dentistry, although not all sedation options involve actual sleep.
Dental sedation is not a fixed part of the pain management plan Dr. Ardoin and Dr. Kennedy will give you at Oral and Facial Surgery Center. Local anesthetic injections and numbing agents cover that part; however, if you suffer from much anxiety, we will recommend a sedation option for you.
Types of Dental Sedation Options
There are four types of sedation options:
Minimal inhaled sedation involves breathing in nitrous oxide, popularly known as laughing gas, combined with oxygen through a nose apparatus. The effects of laughing gas are quite mild, but it will help you relax effectively. It will wear off quickly once you stop breathing it in, so patients who receive this form of sedation are often allowed to drive themselves home after the procedure.
Oral pills are a moderate form of sedation. The medication, Halcion, is usually used for enteral sedation. Depending on our instructions, you may have to take a pill the night before the operation, one hour before the surgery, or as prescribed by us. This type of sedation is usually given in conjunction with nitrous oxide and leaves you feeling drowsy, even though you’ll still be awake.
Sometimes, people do become relaxed enough to fall asleep, but they can usually be awakened by a gentle shake. Most patients usually do not remember most - or any - details of the procedure and are too groggy to drive themselves home. Also, depending on your case, you may be hooked to blood pressure, breathing, or heart-rate monitoring equipment.
IV "Twilight" Sedation
IV sedation is an intravenous form of sedation that comes in a few different forms. In the twilight form of sedation, you still retain consciousness, though the drug makes you relax to the point of sleepiness. You may also fail to recall the procedure once it’s done. As with oral sedation, twilight sedation has a longer recovery time.
General anesthesia is a deep form of IV sedation that makes you fall into a deep sleep. Patients under the effects of general anesthesia do not feel any pain and do not move around. This form of sedation is usually given to small children or to people who have to undergo extensive invasive surgeries.
Candidates for Sedation Options
Sedation options are most appropriate for people who suffer excess anxiety in the dental chair. It is also appropriate for people who:
|•||Have a low pain threshold
|•|| Tend to fidget or move around in the dentist’s chair
|•||Have a bad gag reflex
|•||Have extremely sensitive teeth
|•||Need a large amount of invasive dental restorative work|
Nitrous oxide is also safe for use on young children who are terrified of the prospect of dental treatments. In some cases, oral sedatives are also safe if the child’s age and weight are taken into account.
If you experience severe anxiety, talk to us by calling us at 337-443-2533 for our Lafayette location or 337-381-3663 for our Opelousas location and scheduling an appointment today so that we can recommend the best sedation options for you.