Many people have low pain thresholds and feel a lot of pain when undergoing treatment at a dental clinic. Others are anxious (and become tense) once they sit in a dentist's chair. Such patients can be helped by sedation to counter their condition. This article discusses four sedation options that your dentist can use before administering dental treatment.

Oral Conscious Sedation

These medications (pills) can be given to you to swallow them whole, or you can place them under your tongue. Each has its own pros and cons. For instance, the ones that are swallowed may take longer to be absorbed into the bloodstream when compared to those that are placed under the tongue. The dentist will examine you and select a specific one to administer based on how long that medication remains effective and how long it takes to be eliminated from the body.

Inhalation Conscious Sedation

This method of sedation is delivered by placing a nasal hood (which looks like a small cup) over your nose. That nasal hood delivers a mixture of nitrous oxide and oxygen. It relieves pain by giving you a feeling of lightheadedness and euphoria. The dentist will decide how much of this "laughing gas" to administer based on how long the dental procedure will take. You need not worry about any after effects because the gas is eliminated from your body when you sweat. You will remain conscious during the dental procedure but you will not feel pain.

IV Conscious Sedation

This sedation method is performed by injecting the medication directing into your bloodstream via an IV (intravenous) line. The biggest advantage of this approach is that the medication takes immediate effect. The dentist can also adjust its concentration depending on the need. The dentist may use several monitoring devices to keep track of your vital functions (like heart rate) during a dental procedure that involves IV conscious sedation. This is because the sedation may have an effect on other systems of the body.

General Anesthesia/Deep Sedation

Here, drugs are administered to make you unconscious during a dental procedure such as during a root canal operation. Deep sedation has a much longer active time (duration when its effects are noticeable) and you can only regain consciousness after the drugs have worn off. Other drugs may also be administered to make you regain consciousness.

As you can see, several options can be used to counter your anxiety or low pain threshold when you undergo dental treatment. Talk to your dentist about your concerns and he or she will pick the best sedation method to suit your situation.