Okay, so here’s the hardest part – relaxing in the dentist’s chair just as they’re about to stick a massive metal thing in your mouth. The hardest part of a dentist appointment can sometimes be just showing up. The prospect of a stranger traipsing tools all through your teeth might be the reason you’d rather stick it out with that toothache.
If you’re terrified of dental procedures, there is hope! Switch Family Dental can offer medication to relax your body and mind during both complex and simple dental appointments. Although you’re awake during your appointment, being at the dentist suddenly doesn’t seem quite so bad! That’s the glory of sedation – no stress and no problems, for you or your attentive dentist.
We use a variety of methods to ease you into dental work. You can be mildly, moderately or fully sedated by your Switch dentist before they start any dental procedure. One important thing to note is the difference between sedation and anaesthesia. While a sedative will relax or even knock you out, a local anaesthetic will numb the gums and nerves in your teeth.
Local anaesthetics are almost always required for dental surgeries or procedures, while sedation is an option you can choose if you’re feeling nervous. There are several types of sedative, which your dentist advises on during your appointment.
Minimal sedation is laughing gas, which you inhale through a mask and has a mild calming effect. Your dentist carefully controls how much laughing gas you’re given and it wears off quickly. With laughing gas, you’ll generally be conscious and alert enough to drive yourself home.
You can also opt for an oral drowsy medication that makes you groggy, but relatively awake. Sometimes, patients can be so relaxed they’ll end up falling asleep. Don’t worry though – a gentle shake and you’ll be awake. Oral sedation takes a little longer to wear off, but is certain to ease all your fears.
If a mild sedative isn’t going to be enough, your dentist might recommend a more intense form of sedation. In this case, the dentist will be strictly monitoring your sedative, which is administered through an IV. IV sedation is more often used for invasive work like root canals or for pulling wisdom teeth. Under IV sedation you’re in a semi-conscious state.
Then, finally you might have to be put under general anaesthesia, also called a deep sedation. Under heavy sedation, you’ll be almost or totally unconscious the whole time. You’re not likely to remember anything that goes on in that office; you’ll just come out with a brand new smile! The anaesthesia for deep sedation takes a while to wear off.
In any of these cases, sedation is a sensible solution to alleviate your fears, calm your anxieties and prevent pain. Make sure you have a friend or family member to come with you to your appointment. Sedatives impact your alertness and inhibit your reaction times. Driving is a big no, no! Get your mate to drive you to and from your dentist appointment. Your dentist will brief you and your driver about post-treatment care once you’re home.
Another tip: you’ll be briefed beforehand but usually, you shouldn’t eat or drink after midnight the day before. That means no midnight snacks and no breakfast. Your digestive system can mess with the sedation medication. Wear comfortable clothes too; no one wants to stumble out of a dental surgery in heels.
Your safety comes first and Switch Family Dental prioritise your comfort and health. Sedation is a great way to ensure that you’re calm, relaxed and prepared for whatever comes your way.