The thought of visiting a dentist incites a lot of fear and worry for most people. Picturing the dentist poking needles through your gums or drilling them using the dental drill is enough to bring about anxiety. This anxiety will make you think about the decision to make an appointment with your dentist. If you can relate to this situation, don’t worry, you’re not alone. Sedation dentistry is for all those individuals who have developed a phobia of vesting dentists.
What’s Sedation Dentistry?
This is a process that involves the use of gentle and safe medication to reduce the amount of pain felt when undergoing dental work. Local anesthesia is combined with sedation dentistry to numb the treatment area. This provides significant help to patients who find it hard to relax during a dental procedure.
Who Is Sedation Dentistry for?
This procedure can be of great help to older and younger patients who are set to undergo any type of dental procedure or treatment. Sedation dentistry can be used during general cleaning and checkups for patients who just need a little help to keep them at ease for longer and for patients with severe anxiety that may affect a dentist’s procedure. There’s a choice of dental sedation that suits just about anyone.
Besides helping nervous kids and adults relax for dental care, dental sedation is also used on patients with special needs who may find it hard to recline and maintain one position for an extended period of time.
Forms of Dental Sedation
Dental sedation forms vary depending on the procedure used and the patient’s age. Here is a list of the most commonly used dental sedation techniques:
1. Inhaled Sedation – In this technique, a dentist introduces a (Nitrous Oxide laughing gas), mixed with Oxygen into the patient’s respiratory. This is done by placing a mask over the patient’s nose. Most patients inhale this gas to relax during the dental procedure. This type of sedation is usually administered at low levels. They do this to allow patients to drive safely after their dental procedures.
2. Oral Sedation – For oral sedation, dentists ask their patients to take a pill an hour before the appointment. The most common medications used for dental sedation include Halcion and Valium. The dentist will then recommend and advise you of when to increase or decrease the dosage to manage the levels of sedation effects. As much as this procedure seems easy to administer, oral sedation requires patients to prepare an hour before the session. Moreover, one isn’t allowed to drive immediately after the procedure
3. Intravenous Sedation – This involves injecting the sedative directly into a patient’s. This technique affects the patient’s conscious level immediately. Depending on how the patient will respond to the medication, the dentists can either reduce or increase the level of concentration. Intravenous sedation is mostly used during complex dental procedures e,g when extracting wisdom teeth.
4. General Anesthesia – Some dentists prefer this method over other methods of dental sedation. In general anesthesia, a patient is sent into a deep sleep, where he/she won’t hear or feel anything. This type of sedation is administered under the close supervision of a qualified anesthesiologist or an oral surgeon, and it’s mostly performed in hospital settings.
The form of sedation used will depend on your anxiety levels and the procedure you’re having performed. You can ask the sedation dentist about the available options and the procedure that’s best for you. A sedation dentist will administer the right sedation method that will make your dental appointment fun in a way that you’ve never thought of.
Applications of Sedation dentistry
Sedation dentistry is used in various dental procedures. These include:
Even though some of these dental procedures don’t involve pain, sedation is still used to ensure that the patient remains relaxed and at ease. This encourages healthier teeth since patients will no longer hesitate to book appointments with their dentists.
Benefits of Dental Sedation
Relieves anxiety – Most patients start feeling nervous and anxious the moment they sit on the dental chair. The thought of the pain awaiting them makes it hard to control their anxiety, which results in rapid movements. Sedation dentistry helps patients of this type by making them relax when the procedure is in progress. Thus resulting in a successful dentist appointment.
Minimizes Gag Reflexes – Being nervous during a dental procedure causes patients to undergo gag reflexes. These situations may result in choking or sputtering. Administering sedation techniques like inhaled sedation Nitrogen oxide can help such patients relax. The sedative will help them overcome the psychological pressure that’s caused by the fear of sitting on a dental chair.
Avoids Traumatic – Dental sedation not only relieves pain but also reduces the trauma of patients since the patients are fully relaxed during the entire. The little pain or no pain at all gives them very little memory of their dental procedure. This amnesia effect encourages patients to complete their treatments. It’s specifically pleasing to those patients who’ve had traumatic dental experiences.
Allows multiple Procedures – The noise from the dental drill and the antiseptic odor can make it impossible for a patient to relax. But administering a dose of sedatives will keep them calm and relaxed in the dental chair. This will allow the dentist to perform multiple and time-consuming procedures.
Ideal for Individuals with Special Needs – Dental sedation has also made it easy to attend for individuals with special needs. One can remain calm and relaxed in the dental chair, despite having back or neck problems.
Cons of Sedation
While using sedation dentistry has many pros, it also has a few cons. First, sedation dentistry costs more than regular dental treatments because it has to be done in hospitals by specific medical professionals. Next, sedation also has health risks, especially if you’re given an overdose of the aesthetic. When you have to use a general anesthetic and are put under for your treatments. Finally, dental sedation is very risky for heavy smokers and patients with medical conditions such as breathing problems, high blood pressure, and obesity.
Is Sedation Dentistry the right option for You?
For most individuals, sedation dentistry is among the best things that ever happened to them. However, dental sedation comes without some risks. Find some time and discuss with your dentist about the pros and cons before you deciding to use this method for your next dental appointment. If the cons outweigh the pros, avoid using sedation dentistry. If the benefits outweigh the drawbacks, sedation dentistry may be a wonderful option for you.
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