No More Pain with Oral Sedation Dentistry near Burke, VA
Does the very idea of going to the dentist and having even a minor procedure done fill you with anxiety that borders on a panic attack? It’s not quite that bad for many people, but you’re definitely not alone. The simple truth is that few people actually enjoy trips to the dentist’s office, and the fear of pain and all those sharp instruments drive some people to simply stay away. They’d literally rather live with a toothache or other discomfort than go to the dentist and have the problem solved.
That’s why oral sedation dentistry near Burke, VA is so important. It can help you relax, or at least, as much as one can relax at the dentist’s offOral sedation dentistry near Burke, VA is but one option available. As the name implies, it’s a form of sedation administered by mouth, in the form of a pill taken about an hour before the dental procedure is slated to begin. There are a number of drugs that can be administered to help a patient relax, including diazepam, triazolam, zaleplon, lorazepam, and hydroxyzine.
Oral sedation dentistry near Burke, VA is but one option available. As the name implies, it’s a form of sedation administered by mouth, in the form of a pill taken about an hour before the dental procedure is slated to begin. There are a number of drugs that can be administered to help a patient relax, including diazepam, triazolam, zaleplon, lorazepam, and hydroxyzine
Some people aren’t good “fits” for oral sedation dentistry near Burke, VA, because they take other medications and there’s a risk that the medication administered will interact badly with the prescriptions that patient is already taking. Fortunately, there are a number of other options available. Let’s look at a few of them:
Inhaled Minimal Sedation
You’ve almost certainly heard of “laughing gas.” It’s actually called nitrous oxide and is one of the more common forms of minimal sedation available. Your dentist will put a mask over your mouth and nose, and you simply breathe it in.
The great thing about this type of sedation is the fact that its effects wear off quickly, and in many cases, unlike oral sedation dentistry near Burke, VA, you’ll often be able to drive yourself home after the procedure.
As the name suggests, here, you receive the sedative intravenously, which means that it goes to work very quickly. In addition to the speed, its main advantage is that unlike oral sedation dentistry near Burke, VA, it allows the dentist to constantly monitor and adjust the patient’s level of sedation.
This isn’t commonly used, but it is an option available. This type of sedation leaves the patient either mostly or completely unconscious during the procedure, and you’ll definitely need someone to drive you home afterward.
We talked about anxiety as being one of the major reasons anesthesia is used, but it’s not the only one. Here are a few others:
- You have a severe gag reflex
- You have extremely sensitive teeth
- You have trouble sitting still while in the dentist’s chair (fear of sharp objects is the major cause of this)
- You have a very low pain threshold
- You need a large amount of dental work done
This last one is (or can be) a very large factor. If you’re too nervous to sit in the chair for a complex, extensive procedure, then there are really only two options available. It can be broken into smaller, discrete chunks and spread out over several visits, or sedation can be used to get all the work done in one go.
The problem with breaking a complex procedure over several sessions is that it can add greatly to the complexity and total expense of the procedure, making sedation an excellent, logical option.
Whatever form of sedation is used (if any), your dentist will also administer a local anesthetic at the site where the work is to be performed as an extra step to help minimize discomfort.
While anesthesia is generally regarded as safe, there are always risks involved. We mentioned earlier that people who take medications may risk adverse effects due to the interaction of the sedation with other medications they may be taking, but there are other risk factors as well, especially for patients who are obese or have obstructive sleep apnea.
Those conditions don’t automatically mean that sedation can’t be used, but they do add a wrinkle to the equation that needs to be taken into account.
Levels Of Sedation
Broadly speaking, sedation can be broken into the following categories:
Minimal Sedation – Here, you are awake but relaxed. As the name suggests, this is the mildest form of sedation available.
Moderate Sedation – A step up from minimal sedation. You may slur your words once the sedative takes effect, and you may not remember much about the procedure afterward.
Deep Sedation – You’re not unconscious, but you’re right on the edge. You can be awakened with some effort.
General Anesthesia – The deepest form of sedation which leaves you completely unconscious during the procedure.
While not every dental procedure requires some form of sedation, our primary goal is to make sure all our patients are comfortable and at ease, and if you’re anxious about having work done, we’re happy to talk to you about sedation options that can relax you sufficiently to get you through it.
Don’t let fear of the dentist’s chair keep you from making regular visits, having critical dental work done, and getting the million-dollar smile you’ve always dreamed of having. We can help. Our office is open late several days a week, and we accept a wide range of insurance, which probably includes yours.
Even if it doesn’t, we can get you enrolled in our Platinum Membership Program which can offer you significant savings. When you’re ready, we’re just a phone call away.