If you have not been to the dentist at all for quite a while or have had check-ups, but are putting off more intensive procedures you need due to fear or anxiety, then sedation dentistry can help you immensely. However, you may have heard myths or just general fears about how sedation dentistry works that make you also fear. Read on to find out the truth about misconceptions and myths surrounding sedation dentistry and what you can really expect.
Myth #1 Sedation Dentistry is Always Performed with You Fully Asleep
It is a common misconception that sedation means putting you completely "under" with general anesthesia during a dental procedure. Many people fear general anesthesia, since it can sound scary and there are rare instances when complications can occur with it, especially if you have chronic health problems.
The truth is that while an option, general anesthesia is actually used sparingly in sedation dentistry for the same reasons you may fear it. It is typically only advised by a dentist if an extensive oral surgery or other procedure is being preformed, such as removing several impacted wisdom teeth.
There are actually several other sedation options you have that leave you from fully alert, yet relaxed, to providing you with intense relaxation. These options from a mild oral benzodiazepine or inhaled nitrous oxide that both simply calm your nerves to twilight sedation that leaves you in a deeply relaxed state yet still awake.
Myth #2 You Have No Say in What Type of Sedation is Given to You
The most important thing to remember is that as the patient, you have the ultimate choice in what type of sedation you prefer. If you request that you have a certain level of alertness during your dental visit, your dentist will help you choose the sedation option that helps you obtain that goal. No medication or sedation will be administered without a full explanation to you by the dental staff about exactly what to expect from the specific type of sedative.
Myth #3 It Will Be Difficult to Function for at Least a Full Day After Sedation
If you have a busy schedule, then it is normal to fear that you will have to clear your entire schedule for a full day or longer after your dentist sedates you for a procedure to rest until the medication leaves your system completely. The truth is that while everyone reacts differently to medication, many people have no lingering effects from sedatives given that last for more than an hour or two.
In general, the milder forms of sedation wear off the most quickly, and if you opt for a mild oral sedative or inhaled nitrous oxide, you can likely leave your appointment and complete your busy day without feeling "loopy" or drowsy. You can even drive home from the dental office if you opt for inhaled nitrous oxide that is leaves your body completely just a few minutes after administered.
If you are undergoing a more invasive dental procedure that does require general anesthesia or twilight sedation, then you would likely need to clear your schedule for the evening after your appointment. Depending on your body chemistry, you may feel completely back to normal the next day or need one more day of rest after general anesthesia. However, since this type of anesthesia is usually only used during major dental procedures, this rest will be put to good use by helping your mouth heal properly, since healing of tissues are expedited while sleeping.
Don't let misconceptions keep you away from obtaining the dental procedures you need coupled with sedation to calm your nerves. If you still have fears about dental sedation, then voice them to your dentist who can help give you even more information about the services they offer. Click here for more info.
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