Sedation dentistry involves the use of sedatives or anesthesia to relax a patient before a dental procedure is performed. Patients who have moderate to severe anxiety can benefit from sedation dentistry because it allows them to remain calm for longer periods of time, giving the dentist the time he needs to complete more complex procedures. There are several types of sedation that can be used. Mild sedation can be received through oral medications. For patients who have higher levels of anxiety, intravenous forms of anesthesia can be used to put the patient in a semi-conscious state or allow them to sleep through the procedure.
Once a dentist gets to know the patient, he can determine whether or not they will benefit from sedation. Small children and adults who have severe anxiety are the most common choices. Individuals who have moderate anxiety are also considered for sedation dentistry. Many times, the determining factor is the length of time the procedure will take. A person with mild to moderate anxiety or a panic disorder may not need to be sedated if the procedure can be completed in a short period of time. If the doctor believes that patient will have any type of anxiety during the procedure, they will recommend the patient try sedation to see if it helps them remain relaxed during the procedure.
Sedation is recommended for any patient who has anxiety or panic issues that arise from fear or being forced to remain in one position for long periods of time. Many people are fearful of the sights, sounds, and smells associated with the dentist’s office. Fear can cause them to become anxious or panicky when they are placed in the dentist’s chair. Individuals who cannot sit still for long periods of time may also require sedation to keep them from moving throughout the procedure. Various levels of sedation can be used to help keep the patient calm and relaxed throughout the dental procedure. The doctor will evaluate each patient to determine how much sedation will be needed for each procedure.