Dental fear is a very real issue for many people. It is a normal problem that causes many people to avoid going to the dentist for regular treatment. When pain or other issues make it impossible to put off a visit any longer, the individual is often rewarded for their fear with a more traumatic experience due to the length of time between dental visits. Even individuals who have no dental fear can experience discomfort and pain in the dentist’s chair. Some procedures are just uncomfortable, or they take so long that the time spent makes the individual edgy or anxious. One way to help people be more comfortable in the dental chair is to obtain your oral conscious sedation certification.
Oral conscious sedation allows you to administer a sedative before the dental procedure. This allows the patient to relax during the procedure. They are conscious and can respond to questions, but will not feel any pain. Oral conscious sedation is different than local anesthesia. While local anesthesia eliminates the pain involved in a procedure, it does not deal with anxiety or fear associated with going to the dentist.
There are two levels of sedation available with oral conscious sedation. Light sedation allows the patient to remain alert during the procedure, but remain relaxed. With moderate sedation, the patient remains conscious, but won’t remember much about the procedure once it is over. The patient will be able to talk with the dentist but may have difficulty doing so, and may drift off to sleep.
There are several ways oral conscious sedation is administered. It can be inhaled. This is nitrous oxide, also known as laughing gas. It provides a light level of sedation. As the gas is inhaled the patient will have less of a perception of pain and develop a feeling of euphoria. The nitrous oxide wears off soon after the patient stops inhaling it.
Oral medication can also be used for sedation. It also provides light to moderate level of sedation. About an hour before the procedure, the patient will take a pill that makes them feel sleepy. The patient can still respond to the dentist, but they may feel groggy and uninvolved in the process. Recovery time from this type of procedure is a little longer, and the patient will need to have someone drive them home from their appointment.