For some patients, the thought of undergoing a dental treatment, even a routine procedure, can induce extreme fear and dental anxiety. This fear can cause patients to put off dental treatment, which may ultimately harm their health. Luckily, some dental offices offer sedation dentistry, which effectively lessens anxiety and allows the patient to get the treatment he or she needs. There are a few methods for employing sleep dentistry, including IV, oral and inhalation.
Inhalation sedation, otherwise known as “laughing gas,” is the most minimal type of sleep dentistry. A dentist administers laughing gas, or nitrous oxide, through a mask. The nitrous oxide allows you to relax, and the dentist can then perform the procedure. Laughing gas wears off quickly, and you can often drive yourself home afterward.
Oral sedation is used most frequently for dental anxiety. Patients take a pill, usually Halcion, that causes them to relax about an hour later. Some patients remain so relaxed that they even fall asleep in the dental chair. While patients become drowsy during their dental visit, they can easily be awakened after the procedure is finished. For this type of oral sedation dentistry, however, you will want someone to give you a ride home instead of driving yourself.
The third option dentists sometimes use is IV sedation. A drug relaxant is administered through an IV, and the patient is either partially or thoroughly sedated. Because IV sedation is administered intravenously, it works very quickly and will cause a patient to be sedated for quite awhile. For this reason, the patient will want someone to drive him or her home after the dental visit.
Dr. Parviz Roshanzamir is a general dentist in Vancouver, BC who is certified in sleep dentistry. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Roshanzamir, call our office at 604.210.4722 or fill out our online form. We believe no one should have to forgo dental care due to genuine fear.