Nobody looks forward to having dental treatment, but for those people that suffer from dental phobia, the prospect can be overwhelming. In fact, many patients avoid visiting their dentist altogether because they don’t want to be told that they require any sort of treatment. Unfortunately, this often means that by the time the symptoms have got too severe to ignore, there is considerable damage to the teeth that requires much more extensive treatment than would have been needed if the problem had been picked up sooner.
Fortunately, the use of sedation in dentistry has made it possible for even the most nervous of patients to undergo necessary dental procedures to restore their teeth and oral health. There are different types of sedation to choose from, with many people preferring a variety that is known as conscious sedation dentistry.
What is conscious sedation dentistry and how does it differ to other forms of sedation?
Conscious sedation dentistry shares many attributes with other forms of sedation, but with one key difference – the patients are kept awake the entire time. In sleep dentistry, patients are primarily unconscious. This means that they have no awareness of their procedure and literally wake up with their dental work completed. However, as its name suggests, conscious sedation dentistry offers a lighter depth of sedation that enables them to retain some degree of consciousness. Rather than being fully asleep, patients liken the process to taking a light snooze – when you are resting your eyes, but you have some awareness of what is happening around you. You will be able to respond to verbal cues and other people around you. However, many people prefer to just relax and nod off until the treatment is complete.
Is conscious sedation dentistry safe?
Conscious sedation is usually administered in the form of oral medications. You will be given one or two tablets to take around an hour before your appointment. Then you will be made comfortable and able to relax. The medications used have been approved for use in conscious sedation dentistry, and you will be given a pre-sedation assessment to make sure that you are a suitable candidate for the process.
During your appointment itself, you will be closely monitored to ensure that you don’t experience any adverse reactions and that you remain calm and comfortable for the duration of the procedure.
Recovery from conscious sedation dentistry
Conscious sedation has a significant effect on the body, and it can take a number of hours for the effects of the drugs to wear off. For this reason, you won’t be able to drive yourself home after your dental procedure and you should make arrangements to have a friend or family member do so. You may also like them to stay with you for a few hours once you return home until you feel back to normal. There should be no permanent effects from your sedation.
If you would like more information about conscious sedation dentistry, or if you would like to book an appointment to see if you are a suitable candidate for this valuable service, please get in touch with our dental practice in Arlington, VA today.