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Types Of Sedation Used In Dentistry

Just the thought of visiting a dentist for any dental procedure already paralyzes a lot of people. For some, the dentist's chair is almost equivalent to the electric chair. It is understandable since most dental procedures may cause some sort of discomfort, especially for people with sensitive teeth and low pain tolerance. However, the downside of this is that people would rather bear the pain of a toothache instead of visiting a dentist. This is not a good idea because the more an impacted tooth is ignored, the more damaged it will get. You are just prolonging the agony because you will still end up sitting in the dentist's chair after some time.

Dentists understand these common dilemmas for most people. Thankfully, they have came up with a procedure that can lessen the anxiety a person feels, and help them relax with sedation dentistry.

Sedation is the process of making a person feel calm with the help of a relaxant drug called a sedative. If a person is anxious or scared, his muscles contract, and his glands release certain hormones that make the body hypersensitive to any sensation, noise, and pressure. Using sedative drugs, calms the whole body and the mind so the patient will not feel tense and sensitive during a dental procedure. Certain sedatives have already been developed for dental procedures, and the dentist in Laurel MD on Cherry Lane will decide on how they will administer the sedative drug.

The most common type of sedation dentistry is by oral medication. A Halcion or Valium pill shall be ingested by the patient an hour before the dental procedure. Some dentists opt to have the patient dissolve the pill under the tongue for faster effect. Once the pill takes effect, the patient will feel drowsy or groggy enough to relax but still stay awake. Higher dosages may be given by the dentist depending on the dental procedure that will be done.

Another type of sedation used in dentistry is inhalation of nitrous oxide, also known as laughing gas. Nitrous oxide is mixed with oxygen, and is inhaled by the patient through a gas mask placed over his nose. This is ideal for dentists because controlling the amount of sedatives is easier compared to oral medication. Another advantage of nitrous oxide inhalation is that it wears off easily so a patient will nott feel any sort of "hangover." The downside, though, is that it is very light so the patient may still feel some sort of pain during the dental procedure.

For extreme cases of anxiety and pain management, a dentist may proceed with an intravenous (IV) sedation or, if really needed, general anaesthesia. A liquid sedative will be injected directly to the patient's vein for instantaneous sedation. Although the dentist can still control the amount of sedatives to be injected, the effect of IV sedation is much longer. A normal person may fall asleep just a few seconds after the IV push, and wake up with slight light-headedness once the sedative wears off.

Before taking any sedative drug, it is important that a person talks to his dentist about possible contraindications that may lessen the effect of the sedative such as smoking, special diets, and allergies. Generally, though, sedatives are safe and harmless, so they are really a big help for people dealing with dental trauma.


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