Visiting the dentist is not one of the tasks most people look forward to. This might be because dental appointments have always been associated with pain. In fact, almost a quarter of the population has had a bad dental experience or two. Such dreadful dental experiences can often be traced back to one’s childhood. In particular, the first dental visit. If you’re part of the population who fears the dentist, then you’re in luck. Most contemporary dental practices now offer painless treatments thanks to sedation dentistry in Scottsdale.
Sedation dentistry refers to the use of sedatives to calm and soothe patients prior to and during dental appointments. In the past, sedatives were only used in lengthy and painful surgical procedures, but there are now light sedatives for patients who need to be relaxed during a dental treatment. Sedation dentistry is sometimes referred to as “sleep dentistry.” However, sedation dentistry does not really involve putting patients to sleep during a procedure. As a matter of fact, it enables a patient to be conscious throughout the entire process while being in a relaxed, sleep-like state.
There are varying degrees of sedation depending on the patient’s level of fear and the kind of procedure that will be performed. However, you should first ask your dentist about the level of sedation you’re qualified for. Here are the common methods of sedation dentistry Paradise Valley dentists recommend:
- Oral Sedatives – This method usually comes in the form of pills. The drugs that dentists commonly use are Valium, Halcion, Xanax, or Ativan. These sedatives are generally given to a patient the night before the dental procedure or at least 30 minutes prior to the dental appointment, depending on the patient’s level of anxiety. It is important to remember that oral sedatives do not provide pain relief, but decrease anxiety instead.
- Intravenous (IV) Sedation – This refers to the process of injecting a local anesthetic to the patient. It induces a state of deep relaxation and a feeling of being unaware of what takes place during the treatment. Some IV sedatives have been known to induce an amnesiac effect on a patient, causing him to forget what had happened during the procedure.
- Nitrous Oxide Sedation – This method of sedation dentistry with our Phoenix dentists offer comes in the form of inhalation, where nitrous oxide—also known as laughing gas—is administered to induce a state of relaxation. Nitrous oxide takes effect within 3-5 minutes and gives a patient a feeling of “light-headedness.” Recovering from nitrous oxide exposure does not take long—the effects of the gas recede entirely after a short period.