Many people experience a little nervousness before having a dental procedure performed. But there are some who are literally terrified of the dentist’s chair. Unfortunately, these people often don’t get the treatment they really need because of a debilitating fear. To help them overcome their dread, dentists have developed an array of techniques to help patients relax, block sensations of pain, and even forget about the whole experience afterward.
These are the tools and techniques of sedation dentistry. While this field has grown in popularity lately, it’s hardly new: For example, a common gas used for conscious sedation, nitrous oxide, has been safely used in dental offices for nearly a century. But there are also plenty of newer medications to help you get through dental treatment with a minimum of anxiety.
It’s possible to administer sedatives and anesthetics by mouth (in pill form), by inhalation (via a mask over the nose), or intravenously (into the bloodstream). Each method has advantages in particular situations; some may require special training or monitoring equipment for their proper use. When administering any sedative, our primary concern is your safety and comfort.