What is Sedation Dentistry – A lot of people dread dental visits. In fact, some people would rather live with the agony of a toothache than visit a dentist. The good news is that sedation dentistry can help people with this phobia approach dentists without too much apprehension. Indeed, sedation dentistry can help you remain calm during any dental treatment. But what is sedation dentistry, and what does it involve? Here is everything you need to know about sedation dentistry and how it can benefit you.
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What Does Sedation Dentistry Involve?
Sedation dentistry involves the use of medication to keep patients relaxed during dental procedures. The level of sedation depends on a patient’s level of anxiety and the nature of the dental treatment a patient needs.
The levels of sedation include:
- Minimal sedation, where a patient is usually awake but relaxed
- Conscious sedation, where a patient may slur their words when speaking, but won’t remember much of what went on during the procedure.
- Deep sedation, where a patient will be at the edge of consciousness but can be awakened.
- General anesthesia, where a patient will remain completely unconscious throughout the procedure
Some of the most common types of sedation that dentists use include:
- Inhaled minimal sedation
- Oral sedation
- Intravenous sedation
Who Needs Sedation at the Dentist’s
Sedation dentistry is most appropriate for people with anxiety that prevent them from visiting the dentist even when they desperately need the attention of a dentist. Sedation dentistry may also help those who:
- Have a bad gag reflex
- Cannot sit still in a dentist’s chair
- Have excessively sensitive teeth
- Have a low pain threshold
In some cases, children who are terrified of dentists or fail to cooperate during dental procedures may need sedation. In this case, nitrous oxide is the safest option and it can be administered by any dentist.
Sedation Dentistry Safety
Sedation dentistry is generally safe. However, this does not mean that it is without risks. Indeed, the use of anesthesia always involves some risks. For instance, people with obstructive sleep apnea or obesity usually face a higher risk of anesthesia complications. As such, if you are such a patient, you will need to consult your doctor before opting for sedation dentistry. But even if you think you are fairly healthy, you need to ascertain if your dentist is adequately trained and qualified to administer anesthesia. Such a dentist should administer sedation in line with the FDA’s guidelines after determining that a patient is a good candidate for sedation dentistry.
Benefits of Sedation Dentistry
Sedation dentistry benefits people who are afraid to visit dentists in several ways. Some of the most common benefits associated with sedation dentistry include:
Overcoming Fear and Anxiety
People who have had traumatic experiences with dentists may avoid visiting the dentist’s office even when they need dental treatment. However, it can enable them to overcome this phobia and be able to see their dentists regularly, which is good for their dental and overall well-being.
Ease of Treatment
Anxious patients can make it really difficult for dentists to perform even simple dental procedures. On the other hand, sedation dentistry can help such patients to relax, which should make it easier for their dentists to treat them.
Since sedation dentistry helps patients to relax, it can allow dentists to perform several dental procedures within a single session. Therefore, it can go a long way in helping patients reduce the number of times they need to visit their dentists.
Sedation Dentistry Frequently Asked Questions
Is Sedation Dentistry Effective?
Many people think that it is too good to be true. However, the reality is that sedation dentistry works. Indeed, if you are afraid of visiting the dentist, it should eliminate your fears and allow you to benefit from professional dental care. Sedation will help you to relax and make your dental visits as enjoyable as possible.
Will I Feel Pain When Sedated?
No, you should not feel any pain when sedated. Indeed, if you choose to go for it, your dentist is going to administer the appropriate combination of sedation and anesthesia to make your dental visit as relaxed and painless as possible. Therefore, if you are afraid that a dental visit is going to be traumatic, it should help alleviate your fears.
Does Sedation Dentistry Have Any Side Effects
Unless you have medical problems, such as obesity or sleep apnea, it is unlikely to cause any severe complications. However, some patients might experience nausea, headaches, or dizziness, depending on the type of anesthesia used. The good news is that these side effects are usually mild and temporary, and they are nothing to be afraid of. The implication of these side effects is that you may need someone else to drive you home after visiting your dentist.