Going to the dentist probably isn’t your favorite thing to do – in fact, nearly 30% of adults and 43% of children have dental anxiety, and their moms may be the root of their fear.
Dentists recognize this, and sedation dentistry is becoming more popular.
What is Sedation Dentistry?
Sedation dentistry uses medication to help patients relax during dental procedures, which can be anything from a cleaning to a more invasive procedure. There are different levels of sedation used:
• Minimal Sedation: This type of sedation uses nitrous oxide combined with oxygen that is delivered via a mask, or an oral antianxiety medication. This is the only type of sedation under which the patient can drive home afterward.
• Moderate Sedation: This type of sedation uses IV medication.
• Deep Sedation: This type uses general anesthesia, in which the ADA requires the dentist to complete an oral surgery or dentist-anesthesiologist residency.
Who is a Candidate for Sedation Dentistry?
Sedation medications aren’t necessary for everyone. However, they are appropriate for people who avoid going to the dentist if they:
• Have dental fear and anxiety
• Have sensitive teeth or pain
• Have a lot of dental work to be done
Sedation dentistry is approved for children, but as with any sedation, there are risks. Here is a list of questions to ask your dentist about sedation dentistry for your child. Prepare for the appointment with these tips from the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry.