Many individuals may feel nervous about an upcoming dental procedure, and this sensation is not limited to pediatric patients. Dentists want to make sure their patients feel comfortable in the dental chair, so they have developed a treatment to help people relax during dental work.
There are several methods of treatment that dentists can employ to ensure patient comfort during a dental procedure. Dr. Michael Courter, a dentist practicing in Midland, TX, describes the differing effects between anesthesia and sedation treatments during dental procedures.
A local anesthetic is a medication that a dentist will inject directly into the nerve of a tooth. It blocks the nerve from sending pain signals to the brain, creating a numbing sensation in the affected area, and ensuring that a patient will not experience discomfort during a dental procedure.
The anesthetic does not affect a patient’s awareness and should wear off within a few hours. They will be able to return home without interruption to their regular capabilities after receiving this treatment.
Sedation Dentistry Options
Dentists can provide different types of sedation treatment options depending on the patient’s desired level of awareness. You can discuss your preferences with your dentist during a consultation appointment.
Some patients prefer nitrous oxide, or laughing gas, which a patient inhales through a nasal mask throughout their dental procedure. This medication creates a calming effect for the patient that fades when the patient removes the mask at the end of treatment and breathes normally.
Another sedation dentistry option is oral sedation, which involves a tablet that a patient takes prior to their dental appointment. Patients can remain conscious of this type of medication but will not be aware of their surroundings.
General anesthesia allows a patient to become unconscious during their dental procedure and is usually administered intravenously. This medication is often reserved for invasive dental work, such as oral surgery, or for patients with severe dental fear.
Patients will likely feel groggy for the rest of the day after receiving this treatment. For this reason, they will need to arrange a ride home from the dentist’s office following their procedure.
Ask Your Midland, TX Dentist About Sedation Treatment
Dr. Courter offers sedation dentistry options and other general dental treatments to patients in Midland, TX. Our practice also specializes in cosmetic and restorative dentistry, including tooth replacement solutions. To schedule a consultation or appointment with us, contact our office online or reach us by phone at 432.287.9531.