It’s not rare for dental patients to have an irrational fear of going to see their dentist. Fortunately, we have sedation options available for anxious patients. We have a variety of sedation methods to help patients relax during surgery or other procedures. Sedatives are also used for procedures involving intense pain, even when the patient is calm. Sedatives are now widely used in dentistry, so you need not fear if you’re facing dental surgery.
When Sedation is Needed
People with strong dental phobias or anxiety will likely need some form of sedation for most dental procedures. Patients with very sensitive teeth, bad gag reflexes, low tolerances for pain, or who have trouble sitting still should also receive sedation. It is also used when performing an extensive amount of dental work.
Children who are uncooperative or afraid can also receive sedation. Nitrous oxide is a safe option for them, and we are qualified to administer it. We can also give oral sedatives, which have recommended dosages based on each child’s age and weight.
General and Local Anesthesia
Anesthesia is often used to numb pain or relax the patient during procedures that involve intense pain or when patients are highly anxious or afraid. Two kinds of anesthesia are available, known as general anesthesia and local anesthesia.
General anesthesia has us use drugs to make the patient unconscious temporarily. This method of anesthesia is used for wisdom tooth extractions and certain other procedures.
Local anesthesia is used more often than general anesthesia. It is meant to dull pain in part of the mouth or the whole mouth during a dental procedure, but the patient will not become unconscious.
Procedure for Receiving Anesthesia
The process for receiving anesthesia differs depending on what kind is administered.
For procedures that require general anesthesia, we inject drugs into one of your veins and may also have you inhale another anesthetic that is in gas form. This will cause you to lose consciousness for the duration of the procedure. Patients who receive general anesthesia commonly need to spend a good deal of time recovering at our office before they can go home. If this is the case, we will let you know beforehand so you can arrange rides to and from our office.
Once we determine that you’ll need local anesthesia for a procedure, we will first dry out a section of your mouth, either with cotton balls or by letting it air dry. Then we’ll swab the area with a gel to numb the skin.
Next, we will slowly inject the anesthetic into the gums via a needle. Most patients won’t feel the needle, though they will feel the sting as the anesthetic enters the gum tissue.
After the local anesthetic is injected, you can experience the effects for several hours. After the procedure is done, you may experience difficulties while eating, drinking, or speaking. Take care not to bite down on the numbed area. Otherwise, you can harm yourself without even knowing it.
For more information, please contact our office at 214-363-9946.