Houston Medical Center Dental offers a method for patients to deal with any anxiety surrounding their dental appointments. Our doctors and staff offer patients a calm, soothing experience during their procedures through techniques known as “sedation dentistry”. Also known as “relaxation dentistry”, sedation dentistry provides the ideal means by which dentists can limit tooth pain and anxiety during dental appointments.
The practice of sedation dentistry concerns the use of pharmaceuticals to bring the patient into a calm and relaxed state before and during a dental procedure. These pharmaceuticals, known commonly as sedatives, work by reducing the reactions from the central nervous system. Sedatives typically target the regions of the CNS related to consciousness and situational awareness.
The patient can receive sedation through one of three routes: inhalation, oral sedative or intravenous injection. An inhaled sedative, such as nitrous oxide, takes effect immediately and works on patients with mild to moderate dental anxiety. An oral sedative, such as diazepam, is taken in pill form and is highly effective, but requires a longer time to take effect. An intravenous sedative is administered through a needle in the patient’s arm. The sedative takes effect quickly, but the doctor must monitor the dosage to prevent side effects.
The best candidate for sedation dentistry is the patient who dreads and worries about about dental treatment procedures. This patient has put off setting an appointment due to dental irrational fears and wishes that the treatment process be finished as soon as possible. The patient often remains relaxed, responsive and cooperative throughout the sedation dentistry process. Patients often report that, while under the sedatives, they feel like they exist in a semi-conscious, dreamlike state that removes nearly all of their previous anxieties.
The professionals at Houston Medical Center Dental can assess if you are a candidate for sedation dentistry. Contact us today to learn more!