It’s a big part of pop culture for a reason – people hate going to the dentist, regardless of gender, age or ethnicity. While some people are indifferent to the whole experience, and some rare individuals thoroughly enjoy dental care, the prevailing joke in society is that visits to the dentist are just plain uncomfortable.
But that doesn’t change the fact that every American requires dental care for a healthy dentition – especially today, where cavities are on a rise as per the Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, and Americans are plagued by a number of serious and aesthetic dental challenges.
So what does the industry do in order to make it easier for Americans to approach the big blue chair and lie back, and maybe even relax a little for an hour or so?
Sedation in Dentistry
While it’s rare for people to actually develop phobias from going to the dentist, there are a lot of people who would feel more comfortable with the experience if they could simply sleep through it all, or through some other medication reduce the experience and its sensations.
This is achieved in different ways, ranging from simple numbing of a local area or total numbing, to inducing sleep and keeping someone knocked out.
Types of Sedation
Sedation dentistry options espoused by clinics like Scott J Owens DDS Cosmetic & Family Dentistry include:
- Oral Sedatives – these are typically given an hour to 45 minutes before a dental operation begins, and they’re meant to induce a state of drowsiness, and even foster a mental state of forgetfulness.
- Nitrous Oxide – also known as laughing gas, nitrous oxide is applied through a mask and induces a state of relaxation – when combined with some basic local anesthesia, most patients feel nothing or in the very least feel minimal pain.
- IV Sedation – in more extreme cases, where a stronger type of sedation is called for, dentists make use of benzodiazepines and other opioids in IV fluid form to instantly induce sedation and a lack of pain.
No matter what kind of sedation your dentist proposes, know that all types of sedation should be recommended and administered with one priority in mind – safety. Sedatives – particularly powerful ones that can knock you out – are not something to be used lightly, or in cases outside of actual emergencies, because they can pose dangers to patients and should only be used if the alternative presents a greater risk.