Despite the fact that dental implants are a routine procedure, it can be an overwhelming process for the patient. If you are struggling with some anxiety or concerns about the procedure, you should express your concerns to your dentist. Not only can he or she provide you with clear, detailed information about the procedure to help ease uncertainties, there are some sedation options that you can discuss to make the entire experience less stressful for you. Here are a few of the sedation choices that you might have for your dental implant surgery.
Mild Sedation Choices
If you are comfortable with the process but would like a mild sedative to help calm slight nerves and make the process a bit easier for everyone, mild sedation may be the way to go.
An oral sedative is common option for patients who struggle with anxiety and difficulty relaxing before a dental appointment. In most cases, this type of sedation involves an oral mediation taken shortly before the dental appointment. The medication is typically similar to the ones used to treat insomnia, but in a lower concentration.
These medications are short-acting, though, so this type of sedation is reserved for shorter procedures. If your implant procedure is being done in several small steps, this might be a viable option to ease your anxieties.
This mild sedation option is often used to help patients who suffer from anxiety problems during dental visits. Used in conjunction with a local anesthetic for pain, relative analgesia can help you relax and ease your worries and discomfort.
This type of sedation is administered through a small mask placed over your nose. Through the mask, the dentist will treat you with a mixture of nitrous oxide and oxygen. The mask stays on during the entire procedure to ensure consistent treatment.
There is no odor or flavor to nitrous oxide, and it isn't an irritant, so it won't affect your respiratory system. The gas can leave you feeling lightheaded, and it's also been known to cause fits of giggling. These fits have led to its common nickname, laughing gas.
Moderate sedation provides you with a bit more sedative benefit without disrupting your conscious thought. This can be beneficial if there's additional repair work to be done or the dentist is concerned about the condition of your jaw bone. In those cases, he or she may recommend conscious sedation instead. This option gives you the relaxation benefits of sedation while still allowing you enough control over your basic senses that you are aware of what is going on.
This type of sedation is usually administered through an intravenous supply, and it's continuous throughout the procedure. Once you've been treated with the sedative, the dentist will administer an injection of local anesthesia in the area where the implant is going. You probably won't notice the injection, because the sedative should already be taking effect by this time.
The advantage of this type of sedation is that you'll remain alert enough to respond to the dentist during the procedure, but you won't remember it afterward. If your dentist or oral surgeon suspects that the process could take more than an hour, this is usually the sedation option suggested.
If the procedure is going to be especially complex, your oral surgeon may suggest general anesthesia before your treatment. This isn't a treatment option that is recommended lightly, though, as it requires your dental work be done in a hospital where you can be monitored by a specialist.
In most cases, dentists recommend general anesthesia if you are going to need a bone graft to produce a solid implant foundation or you have other significant health considerations. You'll have to be monitored throughout the procedure and while you're coming out of sedation, so you will need to plan on spending most of the day in the hospital. Talk to your dentist in advance of the procedure, because you may need to fast or avoid certain medications for several hours before your treatment.
Dental implants are an effective way to help you restore your confidence and your smile. These implants also help you to preserve your jaw and prevent bone deterioration due to missing teeth. If you're considering implant surgery, talk with your doctor today about these options so that you know what your choices are.