For some patients, undergoing dental procedures can cause a significant amount of anxiety and stress. Even the mere thought of going to the dentist can cause some people to avoid going to the dentist, even when they are experiencing pain and discomfort. For these patients, sedation dentistry can be a life-changing solution.
Sedation dentistry refers to the use of medication to place the patient into a relaxed, sedated state. Though it is sometimes called “sleep dentistry,” sedation does not put the patient completely to sleep. Sedated patients are awake, conscious, and able to communicate with the dentist, yet they are very at ease and likely will not remember most of the appointment. Dr. Riaz Rayek is a dentist who offers patients in the Fairfax, VA area the ability to have a relaxing dental experience with sedation.
Types of Sedation
The right type of sedation will depend on a variety of factors, including the individual’s anxiety level and the procedure being performed. Dr. Rayek takes the time to explain to each patient his or her options for sedation during the initial consultation, and he carefully considers the patient’s medical history before recommending sedation.
There are three types of conscious sedation patients can use.
- Nitrous oxide, commonly called laughing gas, is inhaled through a mask during the procedure. It is a good option for patients who are undergoing relatively simple procedures, such as a filling, and can be used by children and adults alike. The effects of this type of sedation fade soon after the patient stops inhaling the nitrous oxide.
- Oral conscious sedation involves taking medication in pill form to achieve a sedated state. The medication is taken twice: the first pill is taken hours before the appointment, and the second is taken right before the procedure begins.
- IV sedation involves the use of medication administered through an IV in the patient’s arm. This type of sedation is typically reserved for more invasive procedures.
Is Sedation Safe?
Many patients wonder whether sedation is safe and what risks are involved.
- Sedation is completely safe, provided it is administered by a dentist who is board certified and has been trained to use it properly. Because Dr. Rayek has undergone several hours of advanced training in sedation dentistry, he is able to offer patients safe, reliable sedation.
- Throughout the procedure, sedated patients are carefully monitored. Patient safety is the top priority in any case, but especially when sedation is involved.
- Patients who use oral conscious or IV sedation will need to have someone drive them home following the procedure.
Is Sedation Right for You?
Sedation is a good option for almost anyone who experiences anxiety about going to the dentist. It can be used for a wide range of procedures, from simple fillings and cleanings to more complex procedures such as dental implants or root canals.
If you struggle with dental anxiety, know that you have options to help make your dental appointment a much more positive experience. Contact Smiles at Fairfax Corner to schedule your sedation consultation.