Good oral health care stems from having good dental hygiene. Developing a daily dental routine is important so that your teeth do not become prone to gum disease, cavities, and other dental issues. But what happens if you do develop dental problems? Will you need sedation? Is sedation dentistry safe? Is there a dentist near me I could schedule a visit with to find out more about sedation?
Keeping your teeth healthy requires regular dental cleanings and checkups. This can also help your dentist detect early diagnosis if a problem should surface. This is an advantage to you because your dentist can then formulate a treatment plan that benefits you. But not everyone is comfortable going to the dentist. Dental anxiety is a serious fear that prevents some people from even scheduling routine visits. Sedation dentistry can benefit these people by helping them to relax during a procedure.
Who is a candidate for sedation dentistry?
- People who have a dental phobic.
- Those who are reluctant to needles.
- Someone who has a poor response to local anesthesia.
- People who have trouble sitting still for long periods of time.
- If someone needs multiple procedures at one time.
Sedation can be used for invasive dental procedures as well as a simple tooth cleaning. Patients are usually awake with sedation except for those who are under general anesthesia. Sedation is a component of anesthesia because it represents different levels of consciousness. So, what are the levels of sedation?
- Minimal inhaled sedation is a mild form of nitrous oxide sedation also known as laughing gas. This sedation will make you feel relax. This sedation wears off quickly.
- Oral sedation is done by prescribing medication up to an hour before a procedure. This gives the effect of drowsiness which wears off on its own once the procedure is over.
- Moderate IV sedation is the quickest form of sedation where you will feel the effects almost immediately. This is because the medicine goes from the IV directly into your bloodstream.
- Deep sedation gives patients a controlled state of consciousness and unconsciousness. This means they will have a partial or complete loss of their protective reflexes such as blinking, coughing or sneezing.
- General anesthesia is a form of sedation that puts you to sleep which means you will be completely unconscious. A specialist known as an anesthesiologist is the only one who can administer this type of sedation.
If a patient is administered either level of sedation except for the inhaled form nitrous oxide, it is wise to have someone accompany them home. These types of sedation effects do not wear off as quickly as the laughing gas does. It is also suggested that you not drive for at least 24 hours after a procedure has been performed that requires sedation. In addition, most types of sedations are reversible. Your dentist will give you medicine to undo the effects of drowsiness you usually get from sedation.
It is very important for patients to feel comfortable about taking care of their teeth. Sedation myths and misconceptions can sometimes prevent people from going to a dentist. Therefore, having the facts beforehand is vital to gaining good oral health care.
True or False:
- People are automatically put to sleep when sedation is required – False. People usually think this but in fact most patients, after discussing with their dentist, opt for minimal sedation. This is because they will be in a state of feeling relaxed so that they are aware during a procedure.
- Administering sedation can be dangerous – False. It is actually quite the opposite. Sedation will tremendously improve your procedural experience because you will calmer and more relaxed.
- Dental sedation is not a new technique – True. Dental sedation dates back centuries and has significantly improved over time. As medical technology advances so will dental sedation techniques.
- Everyone gets the same dosage. False. The amount of dosage administered is dependent on your health, needs, age, weight, and medical history. Your dosage is personalized for you specifically to ensure a safe and comfortable process.
- You will not remember the procedure – True. Most patients have no memory of the process which is great news for those with dental anxiety.
There are many reasons a dentist would opt to administer sedation to their patients. The type of sedation used for treatment depends on the procedure required. Together, you and your dentist should decide on which sedation dentistry is right for you to ensure an overall safe and healthy experience. When it comes to caring for your oral healthcare, you should want the best sedation dentist possible. Dr. Maestri is in the Acadiana area and is experienced in a wide variety of dental services. You can schedule a free consultation if you are considering visiting the office.