It is very hard to find people who get excited about going to the dentist. People often equate a dental appointment with something unpleasant. Even teeth cleaning is often met with apprehension because deep and extensive teeth cleaning requires lots of vibrating dental implements that can stress many people out. If mere cleaning gets people nervous, can you imagine how they would react if they had to get cavities filled, a root canal done, or, worst of all, a tooth extracted? The good news is that sedation dentistry can set you at ease. Sedation dentistry is all about using pain relievers which act on the central nervous system to manage the pain of many dental procedures. Whether you are getting a tooth extracted, getting a tooth drilled and filled, or getting a root canal procedure done, sedation dentistry can help make the experience more manageable.
The two most common types of sedation dentistry
The two types of sedation dentistry differ based on how they administer pain relieving chemical compounds into your body. The first, and most common anesthetic approach in sedation dentistry, is to inject the painkillers into the area near your mouth’s nerves. These areas have to be selected carefully so they correspond with the nerve network of the tooth that is being worked on. The downside to this type of sedation dentistry is that the wrong network might have been targeted. Pain results when the affected tooth is worked on. Another downside is finding the right amount of dosage that will effectively manage your pain. It is not uncommon for patients to ask their dentists for a heavier dose because the standard dose isn’t up to the job.
The second approach to sedation dentistry is to use a more generalized approach. These approaches don’t target the mouth nerves that are involved in the dental procedure. Instead, this approach focuses on sedating the patient completely so the patient can sleep through the procedure. Common approaches include IV administration and gas inhalation. While many people prefer this because there are no needles going into their mouths and many of the hassles of local anesthesia are avoided, many don’t like feeling groggy after the procedure. Many also don’t like the feeling of being not in control as they have dental surgery done.
Which is right for you?
While your dentist would have a clear idea as to which sedation dentistry practices are best for typical procedures, you still have a lot of control over the process since you are the one footing the bill. Ask a lot of questions and ask for different options. Weigh your options carefully.