Sedation dentistry refers to the use of pharmacological agents that are used to calm and relax a patient prior to and during a dental appointment. There are many different types of sedation that range from mild to heavier levels:
Sedation is appropriate for almost anyone who desires or requires a more comfortable experience at the dentist. Patients who routinely utilize sedation are:
- Highly anxious or phobic
- Medically compromised
- Mentally or physically disabled
- Patients with limited free time and wish to receive a lot of dental treatment all at once
Sedation dentistry can be pain-free for some; patients who elect IV sedation or general anesthesia can be so comfortable that they experience absolutely no pain or anxiety during treatment. However, the lighter levels of sedation can be more unpredictable, which is why it always depends on the patient’s individual needs.
Oftentimes, your state’s dental organization or your insurance company can direct you to dentists who offer sedation. Though, keep in mind that some dentists may only offer lighter forms, but not deeper levels such as IV sedation or general anesthesia. Always communicate with your dentist about your expectations, so that he or she can be sure to properly accommodate you!