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 a more popular tool for managing dental anxiety.
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.