Sedation Dentistry Allows Patients with Fears or Anxieties to Receive Dental Treatments
Dr. Wesley O. Lynch uses sedation dentistry at our office in Ruston, LA, to help keep patients comfortable and relaxed during dental appointments. Patients with dental anxiety or phobia may benefit from nitrous oxide or oral conscious sedation to calm both the mind and body during procedures. Dental anxieties and phobias can prevent a patient from receiving necessary preventive care and other treatments.
Candidates for Sedation Dentistry
Sedation dentistry is an effective solution for patients who experience stress, fear, or anxiety during dental appointments. Sedation can calm a patient to allow Dr. Lynch to perform any necessary procedures in a timely manner.
Patients in physical discomfort or those who are uncomfortable sitting for long periods of time may also be good candidates for sedation. It can also be helpful in patients who have difficulty keeping still, including children.
Sedation dentistry is a good option for patients who are allergic or have had a bad reaction to anesthesia. Patients with a severe gag reflex or other physical conditions that make dental treatment difficult can be good candidates, too.
Types of Sedation
Oral and inhaled sedatives are typically used in conjunction with local anesthetics to provide pain relief along with relaxation during a dental procedure.
Oral sedation can provide minimal to moderate sedation, depending on the dosage. For most patients, minimal sedation means you are alert during your procedure but feel calm and relaxed. With moderate, conscious sedation, you are also awake, but you may slur your words, and may have little memory of the procedure. Oral sedatives can be taken as early as the night before or an hour to 30 minutes prior to the procedure. Dr. Lynch can instruct you on when to take your sedative and the correct dosage so you are properly sedated for your procedure.
Patients typically experience drowsiness or grogginess and are easily awakened if he or she falls asleep. Oral sedatives are typically used for longer procedures or for patients who experience higher levels of stress, fear, and anxiety. You will need an adult to drive you to and from your appointment because oral sedatives can take longer to wear off.
Patients with dental anxieties or phobias may benefit from nitrous oxide or oral conscious sedation to calm both the mind and body during appointments and procedures.
Nitrous oxide, also known as “laughing gas”, is administered by Dr. Lynch in his office prior to your procedure. Nitrous oxide is inhaled through an oxygen mask and Dr. Lynch can adjust the dosage as necessary to keep you relaxed and comfortable. Inhaled sedation is typically used for shorter procedures and in patients who experience lower levels of anxiety and stress. Nitrous oxide is safe for children and wears off minutes after Dr. Lynch turns it off, allowing patients to drive themselves home following their appointment.
Benefits of Sedation Dentistry
Oral sedation is easily administered by taking a prescribed pill prior to your appointment. Oral sedatives are effective and can have an amnesic effect, which can reduce the likelihood of a patient experiencing trauma. Oral sedatives are also a low-cost sedation method, making them accessible to a wide range of patients. They can allow treatments to be completed in a shorter period of time, or can allow multiple treatments to be combined into one visit.
The most significant benefit of nitrous oxide is the ability to drive yourself home after your appointment, making it a convenient sedation option. It is the only sedation method that is safe for children and there is little risk of overdose. Inhaled sedation is a great method for patients who are unable to take pills. It is also safe for patients with a variety of medical conditions and for those allergic to sedation medications.
Patients with dental anxiety or phobia tend to put off their regular cleanings and exams, ignoring problems until they become more serious and painful, requiring extensive and expensive treatments. Regular cleanings and exams can prevent the development of serious issues and sedation dentistry can help make your regular appointments more comfortable. Contact us to learn about your sedation options and to schedule your appointment.