Dental phobias are fairly common, so if you put off going to the dentist because you hate needles or the sound of a dental drill, you're not alone. Sedation dentistry has become popular because it helps so many people who would otherwise avoid the dentist. If you have a dental phobia, you should talk to your dentist about options for sedation. Here are two types of conscious sedation your dentist may suggest.
Oral sedation is a popular choice because it is easy to take. If you have a fear of needles, you may not want an IV. You can avoid that by taking a pill before your dental appointment. The medication you take for oral sedation makes you very relaxed but it doesn't put you to sleep. This is important because your dentist may need you to follow instructions during the procedure.
One benefit of oral sedation is that it affects the way you remember the procedure. Since you're so relaxed, you may not remember much about what happened. The treatment seems to go much faster too. This has a side benefit in that your dentist can do more dental work in a single visit since you don't feel like you're spending so much time in the chair. One thing to note is that oral sedation doesn't provide pain relief, and you'll still need an anesthetic shot, but it will be given once the oral sedation has taken effect.
IV sedation works in the same way as oral sedation except for a few differences. The IV medication works much faster than the pill, so you don't take the medication until you are at the dentist's office. Plus, you'll have the IV going the entire time and this allows the dentist to increase your dose if necessary to keep you relaxed. Otherwise, you'll still be awake during the sedation even though you may feel drowsy.
These types of conscious sedation can help you get the dental work you need and keep your anxiety level under control. Don't confuse sedation dentistry with sleep dentistry. In some instances, you might be put to sleep with general anesthesia for dental work, but that isn't common. Medication through a pill or IV is usually all you need and it helps you avoid the risks associated with general anesthesia. Your dentist takes a medical history and considers the nature of your dental work when determining which form of sedation is best for you.