Many dentists offer sedation dentistry options for patients during dental procedures. Treatment plans include numbing nerve receptors with local anesthesia, relaxing patients while remaining awake with sedation, and allowing the patient to be unconscious with general anesthesia. These methods can be administered through a site injection, breathable nitrous oxide through a nasal mask, or an IV. This treatment can be effective, but which patients should take advantage of this service? Austin Dental Care, a practice in Austin, TX, describes how sedation dentistry can benefit patients.
Decrease dental fear
Patients of all ages can become anxious during their dental appointment. Dentists have been working on techniques to ensure patient comfort during their visit. This led to fine-tuning sedation dentistry. Nasal masks that allow a patient to breathe nitrous oxide can be administered to both young and old patients.
Mild sedation allows a patient to relax while remaining fully awake. Moderate sedation leaves a patient sleepy but still aware. Deep sedation means the patient is barely awake throughout a procedure. All of these sedation levels are completely safe for patients. After the procedure, the patient will breathe 100% oxygen through the mask to flush the medication from their system. They will function normally after this and can drive themselves home.
Block tooth sensitivity
One of the common concerns for patients is pain during a procedure. With sedation, you can ensure a pain-free dental experience. Local anesthesia injects medication to a nerve to block pain receptors before a procedure. Your dentist will also apply topical anesthesia to the area before you are given the injection for optimum comfort. The effects of this medication will last a few hours. For more complex dental work, you may be given general anesthesia so that you will be asleep for the procedure. You may be groggy when waking up, so another individual will have to drive you home once you are finished.
Reduce gag reflex
Gagging is a throat spasm that, in relation to dentistry, is often a behavioral response linked to dental fear. This response can interfere with dental procedures, which can worsen anxiety in a patient. Sedation dentistry can manage dental fear, but gagging is an involuntary bodily behavior.
For patients with severe reactions, the dentist may recommend general anesthesia to avoid complications from a patient’s gag reflex. General anesthesia will allow the patient to be unconscious for the procedure using a medication often administered through an IV. This treatment is usually reserved for more intricate procedures.
Sedation dentistry and more in Austin, TX
If you face any of these issues during your dental appointment, ask your dentist about sedation. Austin Dental Care offers sedation dentistry options to patients in Austin, TX. We also provide cosmetic and restorative dentistry services. For more information, contact our office online or reach out to us by phone at 512.518.6392.