Sedation dentistry

Are you afraid of going to the dentist like many other people? Does the thought of having your teeth cleaned at a dentist make you tremble with fear? Would you rather suffer from a toothache than visit a dentist for treatment? For you and all others like you who suffer from ‘dentist phobia’, here is good news! Sedation dentistry will recede all your fears associated with a visit to the dentist. Sedation dentistry can be used at all levels of dental treatment and care from simple cleaning procedures to periodontal treatments.

What Is Sedation Dentistry?

Often the fear of patients during dental treatments hampers the smooth operation of the procedure. The patient tends to shift positions out of anxiety and fear on the dental chair. This creates nuisance during treatment and also causes a lot of discomfort to both the patient and the dentist. The primary reason behind the patient’s fear is the pain associated with dental treatment procedures. Sedation dentistry uses sedatives to relax the patient during such times. There are different levels of sedation offered to a patient during dental treatments. They are as follows:

  • Minimal sedation: Here you will be completely awake but relaxed.
  • Moderate sedation: In moderate sedation, you may be unable to recall much of what happens and have slurred speech with little details registering into your mind.
  • Deep sedations: Here you lie at the threshold between consciousness and complete loss of consciousness.
  • General anesthesia: You are completely unconscious during general anesthesia and it is used only in extreme cases.

How is sedation induced?

There are various techniques implemented by dentists to induce sedation in the patient. They are explained below:

  • Inhaled minimal sedation: Here, the dentist makes you wear a mask over your nose which releases nitrous oxide gas combined with oxygen into your nostrils. The inhaled gas helps you relax and the amount of sedation you receive can be controlled by your dentist. This sedation effect stays only for a short duration and you may be able to drive home after the dental treatment is over.
  • Oral sedation medications: This is one of the most common sedation techniques practiced by dentists. Here, you are asked to take a pill of sedative an hour or more before the dental procedure. The dosage of the pill will determine the level of sedation. The duration of the treatment and your mental strength will be determinants of the level of sedation you will be administered. These sedatives can make you groggy enough to actually sleep through the entire procedure. However, you can be easily woken up with a gentle shake.
  • Intravenous moderate sedation: Oral sedations take some time to act and thus the dosage cannot be regulated at the time of the actual dental treatment. Hence, intravenous injections of sedatives are preferred by certain dentists over oral medications. IV injections work faster than oral sedatives and the dentist is able to monitor the level of dosage throughout the surgery period.
  • Deep sedation or general anesthesia: This type of sedation is only adopted when the surgical procedure is long-drawn and extremely complex and highly invasive. General anesthesia is rare in cases of dentistry. Here, you will be administered medications that will render you unconscious. Usually, you will not regain consciousness till the effect of the anesthetic wears off or you are given medications to counter the effect of the anesthetic.

Who is eligible to undergo sedation dentistry?

  • People who avoid dentists out of fear are the most eligible people to undergo sedation dentistry.
  • People with a low capacity to bear pain
  • People who require a long, painful dental treatment procedure.
  • People who have sensitive teeth.
  • People who are restless and cannot sit still for long on the dentist’s chair.
  • Children create a lot of fuss when visiting the dentist. They are completely terrified of the dental chair. However, children need to be given sedatives very cautiously based on their age and weight as doses considered mild in case of adults may render a child unconscious. Nitrous oxide is the most popular sedative for children and is considered largely safe. A small percentage of pediatric dentists may be trained to administer oral sedation to children. 

Who can perform sedation?

Mild or moderate sedation using nitrous oxide gas or oral and intravenous injections may be applied by most dentists in general. However, application of deep sedation or general anesthesia requires accreditation by the medical and dental commissions. Usually, oral surgeons or maxillofacial surgeons are accredited to perform these high levels of sedations. A dentist may also seek the help of a dentist anesthesiologist to perform anesthesia on both adults and children.

Is sedation dentistry safe?

There is always a certain degree of risk associated with sedation dentistry. People with obesity or sleep related disorders may face complications after sedation. So, you need to discuss any such problems with your dentist. If the dentist is experienced at handling sedation, then the chances of sedation related risks are greatly reduced.

You need to be a smart patient to ensure your own safety. Here are a few things you need to keep in mind before deciding to undergo a sedation dentistry procedure.

  • Make sure that your dentist discusses your clinical history with you to decide whether you are the right candidate for a sedation dental treatment.
  • You also must ask your dentist about the dosage you will be administered and whether it is appropriate for your age and health condition as approved by the FDA.
  • It is also important to be sure of the expertise of the dentist who will be administering you with sedation. If the dentist has handled prior cases of sedation successfully, it makes him an ideal candidate for handling your case.
  • Discuss in details with your dentist about the risks and side-effects associated with the sedation dentistry he or she will apply on you. Also, make sure that the dentist has sufficient emergency back up of supplies like oxygen, drugs or artificial ventilation to reverse the effects of anesthesia during an emergency.

If you want to know more about sedation dentistry and how you can benefit from it, contact our team of experts at Affordable Dentist Near Me in Grand Prairie today at 817-200-7086 or schedule a consultation for the long-term solution you’ve been looking for!