A significant number of Americans do not visit the dentist for regular checkups because they are too fearful or suffer from dental anxiety. Sedation dentistry offers an excellent way to provide a safe, anxiety-free, dental experience to those who are nervous during dental visits.
Sedation dentistry is popular because most sedatives can be taken by mouth, meaning no injections, no anxiety, and no pain. Some sedatives work so effectively that even the smells and details of the procedure cannot be recalled afterward. Safety and compliance are two important aspects of treatments, so sedation dentistry offers both the individual and the dentist the best alternative.
Here are some advantages associated with sedation dentistry:
Anxiety is alleviated.
Few side effects.
More can be accomplished during each visit.
Procedures seem to take less time.
Oral Conscious Sedation
Gies Family Dental offers oral conscious sedation in office and is an excellent choice for people who fear needles or have dental anxiety. Oral medication is provided prior to treatment in order to induce a moderate state of sedation. Though oral sedatives do not cause sleep, they usually dull the senses. This means that most patients cannot remember the pain, smells or noises associated with the procedure. Usually, a dose of medication is taken prior to the appointment and then topped up during the procedure as required.
What types of drugs are used in oral conscious sedation?
Most of the drugs used in sedation dentistry are classified as benzodiazepines. Benzodiazepines reduce anxiety, muscle spasms, insomnia, and seizures. Each medication has a different half-life, meaning that the effects last for varying amounts of time. The estimated length of the procedure determines which type of drug is going to be most effective.
Here are some of the most common drugs used in oral conscious sedation:
Valium® – This sedative has amnesic properties and a long half-life. It is usually used for time-consuming, complex procedures.
Halcion® – Usually used to treat insomnia, Halcion is an effective sedative with amnesic properties. A short half-life makes this sedative useful for shorter procedures.
Ativan® – This sedative is best known for reducing anxiety. It has amnesic properties and a medium half-life. Ativan is typically used for treatments shorter than two hours.
Versed® – This sedative has the shortest half-life and is, therefore, less commonly used. It alleviates anxiety in much the same way as nitrous oxide and is used for visits that will take less than 30 minutes.
If you have questions or concerns about sedation dentistry, please contact our office.