Sedation dentistry benefits people with anxiety and phobias, but patients who are unable to control their jolts and jitters can make it difficult for the dentist. Most patients are often reluctant to go to dentistry. The fear of pain and even more anxiety are the major reasons why people cannot fathom going to the dentist. This can be the result of a previous nightmarish experience. This is definitely a concern of many, and dentistry has put an end to this by introducing “sedation dentistry,” which is all set to give patients a relaxed experience at their regular dental checkups.
What is Sedation Dentistry?
If the idea of stepping into a dentist’s office in itself sends shivers down your body, and if you are someone who thinks it’s better to suffer intense toothache than go in, then this is indeed good news for the likes of you. In sedation dentistry, the dentist administers medication to the patient just prior to the procedure. This will help the patient remain calm and relaxed during the entire procedure. Doctors usually administer medicine for invasive procedures, but they can also administer it for normal dental procedures if the patient has high nerves. The administration of sedatives will be as per what the dentist may deem fit.
Types of Sedation
- Mild Sedation: Dentists can administer this sedative medicine either through inhalation or oral administration, and they commonly use nitrous oxide for mild sedation. This will not make the patient unconscious and behave normally but all of their nerves will be calm and composed and they are devoid of any stress or fear.
- Moderate sedation: This sedation is given to patients either orally or through IV. It is for patients who have more than normal levels of anxiety while in the dentist’s chair. Doctors can also inject these medications directly into the patient’s veins to induce relaxation at a much faster pace, allowing them to start the procedure. This level of sedation also keeps the patient in a conscious state, and the level of this consciousness directly depends on the level of sedative administration. It is advised that the patient have a bystander or a caretaker drive them back home.
- Deep Sedation: Deep sedation has been a common practice for extremely invasive procedures. It is otherwise known as general anesthesia. It is for extremely painful dental procedures like root canals, dental implants, wisdom tooth extractions, etc. When the patient is in deep sedation, they are completely unconscious and they will also require the help of a breathing apparatus throughout the procedure.
Who Needs Sedation Dentistry?
People of all ages can benefit from sedation dentistry, and dentists recommend it for the following groups:
- claustrophobia while seated in the dental chair.
- reduced sensitivity to local anesthetic.
- Difficulty controlling movements.
- Special needs, such as those that are psychological, cognitive, or behavioral.
- fear of the dentist
- a phobia related to going to the dentist.
- extreme sensitivity in the gag reflex.
- A fear of needles (aichmophobia).
- extremely sensitive teeth.
How Sedation Dentistry Works?
The concept of sedation dentistry is to relieve the patient of fear and help them remain calm and collected during the entire dental procedure. The sedation agents used during the procedure differ according to the dentist’s preference and the invasive nature of the procedure.
When it comes to sedation dentistry, the first step is for the dentist to decide on the kind of sedation to administer. The one picked will be on the basis of the right condition and the procedure that is taking place. After deciding on the kind of sedation to administer, the dentist determines the level of sedation. The concentration of medicine that should be administered refers to the level of sedation.
The most noticeable difference will be numbness in the mouth. No pain or discomfort, or even the idea that something is happening near the mouth, will be recognizable to you. As there is no pain, it is positively comforting to lie down on the chair when the dentist is working through the procedure.
Sedation agents create a sense of euphoria, which helps to calm the nerves and keep you positive throughout the treatment.
Doctors reserve general anesthesia or deep sedation for very intricate and painful procedures. This sedative will render you completely unconscious, and the reason for the same is that it can be a lengthy procedure, and the process can be a bad thing to watch out for.
What Should I Do Before Sedation?
It is best to speak with the dentist about any concerns you have about the procedure. The dentist will also inquire about your health condition and any other health risks you are facing. They will also ask about any of the medications that you are taking currently. Once we obtain information on these grounds, we will determine the kind of sedative to use and its concentration.
It is typically recommended that no kind of fluid or food be taken at least 6 hours before the dental procedure. They might also ask to stop any medications as they deem fit.
If you are taking blood thinners, it is essential that you mention the same. The doctor may suggest you skip them on the days leading up to the procedure.
Sedation dentistry is beneficial for people with anxiety and phobias. But it can be difficult for the dentist in the case of people who are not able to control their jolts and jitters. Sedation dentistry also helps dentists finish the procedure at a faster pace. Patients being relaxed and comfortable enables dentists to finish their work as effectively as possible.