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Getting Sedation Dentistry at Your General Dentist
Your general dentist can help you to relax if you are one of the many people with dental phobias. It is a problem that affects millions of people all over the U.S., and it can lead to people putting off treatments they need due to their reluctance to go to the dentist. A general dentist can use dental sedation to make their patients' visits a lot more tolerable. It is an effective way to combat dental phobia and take control of your dental health.
How a general dentist might use dental sedatives
Sedation dentistry involves using medication to keep patients calm during dental treatments. Many of the sedatives used for this purpose allow the patient to remain conscious during their treatment, with the exception of general anesthetics. The different levels of sedation used in dentistry include:
- Minimal sedation: The patient remains awake but relaxed while under the influence of these sedatives
- Moderate sedation: The patient remains awake during this type of sedation, but their speech might be impaired and they might not remember much about the treatment
- Deep sedation: The patient is at the edge of consciousness during this type of sedation, but they can be easily woken up
- General anesthesia: The patient is fully unconscious during this form of sedation
The popular ways to administer dental sedatives include:
- Inhaled sedation: This is a minimal type of sedation, and it involves delivering nitrous oxide – laughing gas – into the patient's lungs via a nose mask. It is a fast-acting form of sedation, and it keeps patients relaxed during their treatments. The gas wears off just as quickly, and patients might be able to drive themselves home after this type of sedation
- Oral sedation: This can be used for minimal and moderate levels of sedation. It usually involves the patient taking a pill like Halcion. It is usually prescribed ahead of treatments, and the patient takes it about an hour before their appointment. A larger dose of the medication is taken for moderate levels of sedation. The patient might feel groggy under the influence of these sedatives, but they should be able to stay awake
- IV sedation: This involves delivering a sedative into the patient's bloodstream with an IV. The method makes it possible for the dentist to continually adjust the patient's level of sedation
- Deep sedation and general anesthesia: The medications used for this level of sedation will render the patient unconscious during their treatment. Patients under deep sedation can be woken up easily, while patients under general anesthesia will remain unconscious until the anesthetic wears off or the medication is reversed
Dental visits do not have to be scary
Being afraid to go to the dentist is a very common condition. Do not let it prevent you from getting the treatments you need. That will only make any dental issues you are dealing with get worse. Call or visit our San Antonio clinic to learn more about how dental sedatives can be used to help you overcome your fear of dentists.
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