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Sedation Dentistry

Dental sedation is a technique that can be used when a patient suffers from dental anxiety or dental phobia, or merely wishes to complete their dental treatment in an efficient, relaxed way. Sedation dentistry techniques enable patients who might otherwise avoid the dentist to receive dental treatment necessary for a healthy smile. We are happy to offer a number of solutions for our patients to make their dental visit as comfortable as possible.

Nitrous oxide, also known as “laughing gas”, is commonly used to make treatment more comfortable. This sedation is inhaled through a mask that allows you to breathe in the medication and induces a state of relaxation. Local anesthetic will be administered in conjunction with nitrous oxide to eliminate pain.

In “conscious, light sleep sedation” patients take a pill that induces a relaxed, light sleep state, eliminates anxiety and provided a bit of amnesia so that patients do not remember much about the procedure when it is all finished.  Because the patient is “conscious” during the dental procedure, the doctor can “wake” the patient up at will by calling his or her name or tapping on the shoulder.  As a result, time passes very quickly, and the doctor is able to complete all or most of the dental treatment in one or two visits.  The patient’s blood pressure, respiration rate and pulse are carefully monitored during the procedure.  Conscious, light sleep sedation is an improvement over intravenous (IV) sedation which produces a deep state of unconsciousness by pumping drugs into the patient’s arm.

Some More Things to Know About Dental Sedation

If you are going to have dental procedures, chances are you will be very interested in dental sedation. Unlike local anesthetics that are used to prevent pain during a procedure, sedation dentistry creates a state of consciousness where you are not even aware of the procedure being carried out. While most people only need dental sedation for long or complex procedures, there are others that require these services even for routine cleanings.

Even though dental sedation has only been available since the mid 1800’s, it is one of the most commonly asked for services. Today, every dental office has nitrous oxide, injections, pills, and other sedation methods for patient use. While not every patient will need these aides for every procedure, there is no excuse to avoid dental services because of fear of dental procedures.

Advantages Associated with Sedation Dentistry

  • Never worry about being in pain during a procedure
  • No need to watch the procedure or anything that occurs during that time
  • Phobias associated with close contact with your mouth/face will not come into play

Chances are, you would be surprised at how many people have issues about strangers touching their face or mouth. While you may realize that a dentist or hygienist is a professional, it may still be psychologically difficult for you to allow this type of close contact. On the other hand, dental sedation will enable providers to carry out procedures while you are unconscious. This makes it easier for you to get the care you need without having to be disturbed by internal issues.

Problems Associated With Dental Sedation

If you are going to have dental sedation, it is important to realize that you will be working with the dentist plus a dedicated person to monitor your vitals and state of consciousness. When you choose a reputable dentist, everything should go smoothly. On the other hand, you should never go with a cheaper or less reputable dentist when it comes to procedures that require sedation. Even though it may not cost your life, over or under sedation can still wreak havoc during and after the procedure. Some other problems may occur include:

  • Lack of pre-operative testing can lead to dangerous allergic reactions during the procedure
  • Insufficient medication can cause you to wake up during the procedure
  • Death or coma may occur if post-operative protocols are not carefully followed
  • Long term confusion, irritability, or other cognitive issues may result from mild overdose. 
  • Medical conditions not accounted for prior to administering sedation can pose a serious hazard

When it comes to your health, you should always seek the best medical providers, regardless of cost.  While you may feel tempted to cut corners when it comes to dental cleanings or other semi-invasive procedures, it is very important to only work with a highly qualified dentist if you need sedation.  Without a question, all the benefits associated with dental sedation will be enhanced when you choose only the best dentists for your procedures.