Whether warranted or not, many people have varying levels of anxiety when it comes to visiting their dentist. To ease these fears, dentists often rely on various forms of sedation to relax patients and make going to the dentist a little less stressful.
There are three options when it comes to sedation dentistry:
Oral conscious sedationtakes place when patients are prescribed a pill that relaxes them during their dental procedure. The patient remains conscious but in a much more calm state, with the effects wearing off soon after the procedure is over.
Nitrous oxide is a gas that relaxes patients in much the same way as oral conscious sedation and has been used for many years in dentists’ offices.
IV sedation, or intravenous sedation, takes patients to another level of relaxation and must be administered by an anesthesiologist.
Few dentists are licensed to deliver intravenous sedation, but it is far and away the most effective procedure for patients who have the highest levels of fear and anxiety.
IV sedation requires that you not eat or drink anything eight hours prior to your appointment, and you will need someone to take you to and from home.
Although you will not be asleep during your appointment, IV sedation makes a person drowsy and unaware of pain that takes place during dental surgery or related procedures. You will still be able to answer questions and respond to your dentist, but because you are totally relaxed, including your tongue, jaw and facial muscles, your dentist can accomplish more in less time.
The effects of IV sedation begin to dissipate almost immediately when the flow of medication is stopped, although dentists do recommend not driving for 24 hours, and relaxing at home for the remainder of the day following your appointment.
Under IV sedation, most patients remember very little about their visits the next day. And in many instances, they also report less overall pain because a totally relaxed state means a dentist does not have to use as much force as with other types of procedures.
Cochran Family Dental is located in Leesburg and proudly serves the cities of Ashburn, Purcellville and other nearby communities in northern Virginia and southern Maryland.