Are you or someone you love terrified of the dentist? You may be so terrified of the dentist chair you haven't had a regular check-up in years. You would rather let you teeth fall out than face dental work. Inevitably the intense pain of a very real toothache will outweigh the imagined pain of a trip to the dentist, and you (or your loved one) will have to make a decision.
But it doesn't have to come to this. Sedation dentistry offers a safe, effective alternative. In the past, dental phobic patients had two basic options: IV sedation (again with the needles), or Nitrous Oxide (laughing gas). Modern advancements have added a number of sedation options to that list, most of them are taken orally, without the need of an injection. Sedation dentists are specially trained in these medications and how to properly administer them.
It is important to note that these sedation methods are NOT considered general anesthesia, and consequently do not bear the same risks. It is also important to note that sedation relaxes your body and mind, but does not inhibit pain, so in addition to the sedation, a local anesthetic will be needed. This will be injected after sedation to minimize the pain.
What will sedation do? It will create an incredible sense of well-being and relaxation. Although you will not be completely unconscious, you may have no memory of the dental work, and your sense of time will be altered. It may seem like you were only in the chair a few minutes, but in actuality an hour or more may have passed.
Although sedation does not put you completely asleep, you will feel sleepy as a result of the medication. Because of this, you should have another person available to drop you off and pick you up from your visit. Do not plan on going directly back to work after sedation, as it will take a couple of hours for the effects to wear off.