Are you struck with anxiety or fear when you think about seeing your dentist for a routine examination? Have you ever endured, a toothache for far too long due to a fear of the dentist? Hear this. You are not alone. Countless individuals in the Augusta Georgia area avoid dental treatment of all kinds because they are so phobic about going in. If this describes you, you should be happy to know that sedation dentistry offered by Dr. Emmanuel Ngoh and the team at Augusta Endodontic Center can help relieve any anxiety or fear you have of the dentist. There are many benefits to sedation and sedation dentistry can be made available to you.
Sedation dentistry involves the utilization of medicine to ease the patient into a sense of relaxation or unconsciousness. Though it is sometimes called sleep dentistry, patients usually remain conscious unless general anesthesia is used. Let us look at the degrees of sedation offered by many dentists:
Minor sedation leaves the patient awake but completely relaxed.
Moderate sedation (sometimes called conscious sedation) will leave the patient loopy but conscious. The patient may slur their words when speaking and have a foggy memory of the procedure.
Deep sedation involves bringing the patient to a state of near unconsciousness, but they can still be awake.
General anesthesia renders the patient completely unconscious.
When minimal sedation is needed, nitrous oxide can be administered. Nitrous oxide, or laughing gas, is combined with oxygen and administered via a mask put over the patient’s nose to breathe in the mixture. It will deliver a relaxed sensation to the patient and will wear off quickly. This is the only form of sedation where the patient can drive themselves home after the procedure is completed.
If you need somewhere between minimal and moderate sedation, this can be administered orally. Oral sedation’s strength lies in dosage. If you need minimal sedation, you will likely be given a pill to take about an hour before the procedure. It will make you drowsy, but you will remain awake.
Larger doses can be provided if the patient requires stronger sedation. At this level, the patient will become increasingly groggy and possibly even fall asleep during the procedure. It is not a deep sleep, and the patient can be awakened easily.
Less commonly available are IV sedation and general anesthesia. IV sedation will provide a moderate level of sedation. It is administered via an IV into the patient’s vein. This form of sedation works very quickly and allows the dentist to adjust the levels of sedation that is administered. With general anesthesia, the patient is put into a deep sleep from which they are not easily awaked until the effects of the anesthesia fully wear off.
Not all dentists will offer all forms of sedation, so it is important that you speak with your dentist about what they offer and which option will work best for you.
Sedation is best for those patients who suffer from genuine dental fear and/or anxiety which keeps them from visiting their dentist for regular checkups or when there is a real problem that needs to be addressed. Sedation is not just for those who suffer from fear. Here are some examples of types of patients who may benefit from sedation:
Dr. Emmanuel Ngoh has over 20 years of experience in dentistry. An alumnus of the Medical College of Georgia’s Schools of Dentistry and Allied Health and Kennesaw State University, he practiced as a General Dentist for four years before specializing in endodontics. He founded Augusta Endodontic Center to fulfill the endodontic needs of patients in the area.
Dr. Ngoh is a member of the American Association of Endodontists, American Dental Association, Christian Medical and Dental Association, Georgia Dental Association, and Augusta Dental Society. He is a Faculty Member of the Georgia Regents University, College of Dental Medicine and has contributed to many research projects and journals. His efforts have been recognized with many awards and being voted as one of Augusta‘s Top Dentists by the Augusta Magazine.