Sedation dentistry can be a great way to help anxious patients get the dental care they need. It can help eliminate dental anxiety and make the experience less stressful. However, if you’re considering sedation dentistry, you should understand the risks of the procedure. Also, consider how to prepare for it.
Typically, you’ll need someone to accompany you to your appointment and drive you home afterward. In addition, you may be required to fast for 24 hours prior to undergoing sedation. Before your appointment, you should complete a form that details your risk factors for sedation and the potential risks of the procedure. You will also be given an informed consent form, which includes instructions about what to expect during the procedure and afterward.
There are two main types of sedation: oral and IV. Oral sedation involves taking a benzodiazepine pill, which makes you drowsy. Patients usually wake up after the pill wears off. If you’re unsure of the dose, ask your dentist.
Intravenous sedation works in a similar fashion, but the sedative is injected directly into the patient’s bloodstream. IV sedation is often more effective than oral sedation, as the drug kicks in more quickly. Some patients remain under the effect of the medication for the entire appointment.
Nitrous oxide, which is sometimes referred to as laughing gas, is another form of mild sedation. This is administered through a mask worn over the nose. It causes a quick onset of drowsiness, but the patient can still breathe on their own. The odorless gas is usually used during routine dental procedures.
Deep sedation is a more severe form of sedation. Patients can be completely unconscious during the procedure, and may not remember much of it. While this type of sedation is often effective for certain procedures, you should consult a physician before having it. Depending on your medical history, you might be at greater risk for complications from anesthesia.
For a safe sedation dentistry experience, you should select a doctor who has experience with sedation dentistry and is trained in delivering it. Also, check to see if the dentist has the proper equipment in place. Equipment includes oxygen equipment, reversal medication agents, and pulse oximeters.
In addition, you should consider your own level of anxiety and medical condition. For example, if you have a history of sleep apnea, you might be at greater risk for complication from anesthesia. Additionally, you should discuss with your doctor whether you’re able to take a benzodiazepine pill. Oftentimes, these drugs take a couple hours to wear off.
In order to receive sedation dentistry, you must complete an informed consent form. The information on the form should include the types of sedatives available and the maximum recommended dosage for each. Be sure to review the form with your dentist, as well as your doctor, to ensure that you’re comfortable with it.
The benefits of sedation dentistry are that you can be calm, relax, and not feel any pain during the procedure. It can also help people with dental phobia to undergo the necessary treatment.