Dental Sedation – A Solution To Help Patients Relax

Sedation dentistry helps people relax while in the dental chair. With sedatives, people can overcome the fear they have of dental work. In addition, learning about their options and what to expect from the process will help patients feel at ease when seeking intravenous sedation dentistry.

What Is Sedation Dentistry?

Sedation dentistry involves the administration of sedatives just before and during a dental procedure. Several sedatives are available, including nitrous oxide, twilight sleep drugs, and IV sedation.

Dentists will determine which type is most appropriate for their patients. The dentist's goal is to use the safest and shortest form of sedation possible for the dental procedure of their patients.

Who May Need Sedation Dentistry?

People of all ages benefit from sedation dentistry. However, sedatives are especially advantageous for people with the following issues.

  • Dental anxiety
  • Overly sensitive gag reflexes
  • Severe tooth sensitivity
  • Fear of needles
  • Decreased sensitivity to local anesthetics
  • Difficulty controlling movement
  • Fears of visiting the dentist
  • Special cognitive, behavioral, and physical needs.

What Types of Sedatives Do Dentists Use?

There are multiple levels of sedation, depending on the patient's needs and the procedure. The most common form of sedative is nitrous oxide, which many call laughing gas. This medication wears off within 15 to 30 minutes after administration stops.

Another type of sedative includes oral conscious drugs that keep a person awake but give them temporary amnesia-like effects. Multiple medications for oral sedation dentistry are available for conscious sedation.

Finally, there is also IV sedation. Intravenous sedatives offer the deepest form of sedation. While under the effects of IV sedation, the dentist and staff will monitor the patient's vital signs and adjust the medication as necessary. With IV sedation, individuals are entirely sedated and will not remember their procedures.

Can All Dentists Perform Sedation Dentistry?

Most dentists can administer some degree of sedation, at least nitrous oxide. However, only a small percentage of dentists have received the Commission on Dental Accreditation for deep and general anesthesia.

Dentists who provide sedation are typically dental anesthesiologists, oral surgeons, or maxillofacial surgeons. In addition, some dental offices employ a trained dental anesthesiologist to provide sedation to people of all ages.

What Are the Benefits of Sedation Dentistry?

Patients will experience multiple benefits of sedation dentistry. Those considering these sedative treatments must know the benefits to decide if they should ask their dentist about the options.

Dental sedation reduces the anxiety people sometimes feel about seeking dental treatments. For most people, the fears are unfounded, but some have suffered unpleasant dental experiences that caused their worries.

Sedatives help decrease the amount of discomfort people feel during and immediately after certain types of dental procedures. Many people mistakenly believe sedatives are only for the afraid. Dentists administer sedatives for many reasons, including extensive dental procedures.

Multiple options are available to help people with varying degrees of dental anxiety. There are options for every person and age, from mild to deep sedation.

Another benefit of sedation dentistry is that it is safe. For most people, sedation dentistry causes no adverse reactions. Very few people experience side effects, and most incidences are mild.

Sedation dentistry offers rapid recovery times. Even with IV sedation, most people overcome the side effects after a good night's sleep.

What Are the Risks of Sedation Dentistry?

For most people, oral sedation only has minimal side effects. However, patients can have an unknown allergy to sedatives. Should allergy symptoms arise, sedation dentists can administer medications to combat them. The following are some of the risks of sedative administration.

Marked drowsiness that lasts longer than normal

  • Dry mouth
  • Headaches
  • Loss of memory
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Nausea or vomiting

For most people, these side effects resolve within a couple of hours. Some people may experience tiredness and mental fog for one to two days, though this is rare. Most people will feel normal after a good night's sleep.

When Should Someone Call the Doctor After Sedation Dentistry?

It is important to remember that the effects of sedation will typically last up to 24 hours. Therefore, individuals should call their doctor if they develop concerning symptoms. Concerning symptoms include fever, chills, nausea, vomiting, or pain not relieved with prescribed or over-the-counter medication.

Sedation Takes the Fear Out of Seeking Dental Care

In a recent study, around 60% of Americans admitted to having some degree of dental anxiety. Whether a person is simply afraid of the dentist because of unfounded fears or has experienced a truly unpleasant dental experience, sedation relieves their anxiety.

Some people have such a high level of dental anxiety they require mild sedation for teeth cleanings and examinations. However, with so many available options, there is no reason people should feel anxious in the dental chair.

Ask Your Dentist About Sedation Dentistry

Sedation dentistry offers a range of benefits for people of all ages. For example, those suffering from dental anxiety can receive the treatments they need in comfort with sedation.

For most people, sedation dentistry is safe. However, people must talk with their dentist to determine the best option for sedation.

Patients with a sedative will not feel undue anxiety while undergoing dental treatments. In addition, dentists can perform dental procedures more efficiently, reducing the time for patient appointments.

If you fear dental visits, you are not alone and should not feel ashamed. Instead, talk to your dentist today about the available sedative options.

Brought To You By: Tysons Corner Dental Care


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