Going to the dentist can be an ordeal for most people. However, some people have a more difficult time making their dental appointments. Dental anxiety is a common issue that affects nearly 40% of all adults. Patients with dental anxiety are less likely to make their routine checkups. This can negatively impact their dental health over time.
Luckily, your dentist can offer you solutions to help relieve your anxiety. IV and oral conscious sedation (OCS) are two options that can help anxious patients. Yet, some patients may have reservations about sedation. With your dentist, your safety is paramount.
IV and OCS
The type of sedation you need depends on your anxiety and dental procedure. You will typically take OCS in pill form. With this type of sedation, you will feel relaxed and at ease. You may even feel sleepy or groggy. In this state, you will need someone to drive you to and from your appointment. Your dentist will prescribe this medication based on your medical history and your needs. They will ensure your comfort and safety during your procedure.
With IV sedation, your dentist will administer the medication in the dental office. IV sedation is typically stronger than most other forms of sedation. This medication will go directly into your bloodstream. You will feel deeply relaxed and possibly fall asleep. Like with OCS, you will need a reliable person to take you to and from your procedure.
The Safety of IV Sedation
If your dentist recommends IV sedation, it is likely because it will be of benefit to you. It will help you get through your dental procedure relaxed and at ease. Although IV sedation may sound scary, it is very safe.
Your dentist will administer sedation in a controlled clinical setting. This will make sure that you have quick access to medical intervention if necessary. But, that scenario is unlikely. During your procedure, your dental team will monitor your vital signs, such as heart rate, blood pressure, and oxygen. This will help detect any potential issues.
Your dosage will depend on your age, weight, and medical history. With this customized dosage, you will be much safer and more relaxed during your dental appointment.
Benefits of OCS
OCS helps to reduce anxiety for patients experiencing dental fear. You can feel more comfortable with your routine dental exams and procedures with a small pill. OCS allows you to remain calm throughout your appointment. This also makes your experience more successful for you and your dentist.
Oral sedation involves taking a prescribed medication before the appointment. This will eliminate the need for IV access. You will likely be more comfortable if you don’t need an IV. Another benefit of OCS is that you will feel the effects gradually. This also allows your dentist to adjust the dosage as needed.
Patient Evaluation and Medical History
Before you try any form of sedation, your dentist will perform a thorough assessment. They will evaluate your medical history, current health status, and any issues you may have with sedation. This helps to make sure that you are completely safe during the process. You should also be open and honest about your medical history. It could interfere with your sedation.