Sedation dentistry can help patients overcome their dental fears. The dentist can use several types of sedation, including oral sedation, nitrous oxide, or IV sedation. These techniques can help patients experience a pain-free procedure. They also provide a more comfortable, stress-free experience.
Patients who fear the dentist often have low pain thresholds. Those who fear the dentist may choose to avoid dental care altogether. However, a positive dental sedation experience can eliminate the patient’s fear and increase their confidence. Moreover, it can even reduce the chance of developing gum disease in the early stages. Besides, sedation allows patients to undergo more procedures in one appointment, eliminating the need for additional appointments.
Sedation can also be used to treat patients with special needs. Several people with autism spectrum disorders, for example, can benefit from sedation dentistry. It can also be helpful for patients with sensory processing disorder. Using sedatives to ease anxieties can also prevent allergic reactions.
People who have a sensitive gag reflex are usually uncomfortable when it comes to dental treatment. The gag reflex can cause an involuntary squirm, which can cause damage during the procedure. When patients are under sedation, the gag reflex is paralyzed. This allows the patient to relax and respond to the dental care, without gagging.
Depending on the severity of the patient’s anxiety, the dentist can prescribe a sedative. Many times, the medication is given before the procedure. Depending on the type of sedative, the patient may fall asleep during the procedure or remain fully conscious. Regardless of the type of sedation, the effects of sedation can last for several hours.
The dentist can also monitor the patient’s vital signs during the procedure. For those who are experiencing mild to moderate anxiety, nitrous oxide can be administered. Inhaled minimal sedation is another option. Nitrous oxide is a gas that is inhaled through a mask that is placed over the patient’s nose. Normally, the nitrous oxide wears off after a few minutes.
Oral sedation is best for patients who have dental phobia, have strong gag reflexes, or suffer from numbness in the teeth. Inhaling a sedative pill such as Halcion can help these patients get through the procedure. The sedative pills are similar to Valium, and can be taken before the dental visit.
Patients who have sleep apnea may need to discuss their condition with the dentist. Some people with sleep apnea may experience complications when they receive anesthesia. Also, it is important to mention any allergies to sedatives. If a patient has an allergy to nitrous oxide, the dentist should have a drug to reverse sedation.
Dental sedation can also be used to perform simple tooth cleaning. Often, patients who do not receive sedation can squirm or move around during the procedure. Using sedatives to make a dental procedure easier can allow the patient to feel more at ease, which can decrease the amount of time the patient spends in the dentist’s chair.
There are a number of risks to undergoing anesthesia, so it is important to be aware of the risks involved. Besides, it is a good idea to arrange transportation to and from the office if you need it.