Going to the dentist in itself is a tough job, and then there all the procedures to be dealt with. But then that’s where sedation comes to our help and helps us tackle the horrors of a dentist’s appointment. Our anxieties can well be at bay – thanks to sedation in dentistry.
Dental phobia is a reality and we should not dismiss it. We don’t go to the doctor until and unless a toothache makes it inevitable. A symptom of this phobia is shakiness in hands and bouts of nervousness while sitting in the dentist’s chair. Many also complain of feeling sick or sleeplessness before an appointment. But then the good news is that there are sedatives to counter this phobia and help you relax while you go through the treatment.
Types of sedatives:
The various types of dental sedation are:
- Oral sedatives:
Diazepam is a known to relax a patient. You should take it a night prior to the appointment. In extreme cases, it might also be appropriate to take it 30 minutes before the procedure. There is no pain relief as such but you would feel relaxed.
- Intravenous sedatives:
This is also a counter-anxiety medication which is delivered through the vein. It induces sleep. Fentanyl, Versed, Ketamine and Diprivan are common sedative solutions. In this case, you will need close monitoring after you have taken the sedative.
- Nitrous oxide sedation :
This would mollify the pain as well as reduce your anxiety. Laughing gas is the common name of this type of sedation and it is administered using a nasal tube. The patient doesn’t lose consciousness but feels easy and relaxed. This is usually accompanied by a local anaesthetic.
- General anaesthesia:
A proper monitoring system should be in place while administering anaesthesia.
Types of sedation:
There are different levels of sedation and hence this will vary according to the need of the situation:
This is a light form of sedation. Those suffering from mild bouts of anxiety will be advised this type of sedation. Nitrous oxide is commonly used.
- Conscious sedation:
Patients suffering from extreme anxiety are usually administered this level of sedation. The patient can comprehend but has restrained degree of movement. Both nitrous oxide and local anaesthesia is administered in this case.
- Deep sedation:
Those suffering from dental phobia are subjected to deep sedation. Here, the patient has mild consciousness.
In cases of surgery, a patient has to be rendered unconscious. General anaesthesia is used to make the patient unconscious and he is regularly monitored.
Sedation might not always be suitable for every patient. Proper consultation with the dentist is a must prior to making a sedation decision.
If you are becoming anxious and feeling dizzy while sitting on the dentist’s chair, you need to ask for a sedative method. You might also experience involuntary movement of your legs and hands. Being scared of needles and pins is also a good reason for sedating yourself. Your dental problems might in itself be so delicate and complicated that you won’t be able to do without a sedative.
Sedatives pose no problem if proper monitoring systems are in place. They do not have side-effects and are safe solutions to your anxiety problems.