Are You Afraid to go to the Dentist?

Are you the type of person who would suffer endless pain with a toothache rather than getting it extracted by the dentist? Do you feel fear or anxiety going to the dentist? If you answered yes then you can opt for sedation dentistry. Your anxiety and fear will be alleviated through sedation dentistry. There are simple procedures and invasive methodology for sedation dentistry. The kind of sedation dentistry procedure that will be applied to the patient depends on the severity of the anxiety and fear.

Sedation dentistry is applicable to people who:

  • Need major and large amount of dental procedures
  • Has pharyngeal reflex
  • Has delicate or sensitive teeth
  • Has anxiety and has hard time sitting on dentist’s chair
  • Has very low tolerance for pain

Sedation Dentistry for Children

Kids are given sedation when they do not cooperate or are terrified with the dental procedure. Nitrous Oxide is what is usually administered to children because it’s safe. It can also be administered by any dentist. There are only a few pediatric dentists trained for oral sedation. Oral Sedation is also safe when given in the recommended doses for the kid’s weight and age.

Learning More about Sedation Dentistry

Medication is used in Sedation Dentistry procedure to alleviate the fear and anxiety of the patient. Some people refer to Sedation Dentistry as “Sleep Dentistry.” While it’s true that there are sedation dentistry procedures where the patient is unconscious, there are also methodologies wherein the patient is fully awake. General anesthesia is employed in “Sleep Dentistry” during the entire dental procedure.

These are the various levels of Sedation Dentistry:

  • Minimal Sedation
  • Moderate Sedation
  • Deep Sedation
  • General Anesthesia

The patient is asleep and unconscious with General Anesthesia during the entire dental procedure. The patient is on the border of consciousness but can be awakened with the procedure in Deep Sedation. While in the Moderate Sedation, the patient will not remember much about the dental procedure. The Minimal Sedation is the lowest level of sedation because the patient is fully awake yet relaxed and at ease during the entire time of the procedure.

Sedation Dentistry and its different types:

  • General Anesthesia and Deep Sedation
  • IV Moderate Sedation
  • Oral Sedation
  • Inhaled Minimal Sedation

The mildest form is the Inhaled Minimal Sedation. The patient will inhale nitrous oxide or laughing gas which is combined with oxygen. This method of sedation will make the patient feel relaxed. The dentist has full control on the right amount of sedation the patient needs. This is the only kind of sedation where a patient can drive home safely  after the dental procedure.

Oral Sedation can be given to the patient as either mild or moderate, depending on the dose that the dentist will provide. The patient will be given a pill called Halcion that belongs to the family of Valium with regard to the Mild Oral Sedation. The Halcion pill should be taken an hour before the procedure. The effect of the Mild Oral Sedation will make the patient drowsy while feeling very relaxed. A higher dose of the Halcion pill will be given to the patient in Moderate Oral Sedation. The pill will also be taken an hour before the dental procedure. The Moderate Oral Sedation will make the patient fall asleep. A gentle shake, however, can wake up the patient.

The patient will be asked to have a sedative through the vein with the IV moderate sedation. The dentist will be careful on the right amount of sedative that the patient needs. This type of sedation works really fast compared to oral sedation where the patient needs to take it an hour before the procedure.

With the General Anesthesia and Deep Sedation, the patient will be asked to take a medication to fall asleep and be fully unconscious. The patient will be able to sleep deeply through the General Anesthesia and Deep Sedation and can’t be awakened unless its effect is reversed or it wears off.

What Are the Prerequisites to Perform Sedation Dentistry?

Almost all practicing dentists are allowed to perform minimal sedation. The dentists are allowed to give pills or nitrous oxide for the minimal sedation. It’s good for us to know that more dentists are now able to perform moderate sedation. However, there are only a few dentists who are allowed to perform general anesthesia and deep sedation. The requirement for a dentist to be able to execute general anesthesia and deep sedation is to complete the Commission on Dental Accreditation Program. There’s a solution for a dentist who has not completed the program to merge the general anesthesia and deep sedation to the complex dental procedure by hiring dental anesthesiologists who can perform it to both children and adults.

Is Sedation Dentistry Safe?

The patient should be aware that there are risks involved in Sedation Dentistry. It’s generally safe, though, when administered by a competent and experienced dentist. Those who are obese and suffer sleep apnea are advised to consult their doctor first before they agree to have sedation because they are the likely candidates to suffer complications from anesthesia.

The patient has the responsibility in making sure that the dentist is well trained and has the qualification to administer the sedation dentistry procedure that will be done.

The following are some of the helpful tips for a smart patient before having sedation dentistry procedure:

  • Make sure that the dentist has looked into your medical history. The dentist should make sure that it’s really safe for the patient to undergo sedation dentistry procedure. The dentist should also be aware of the medications that you are currently taking.
  • The patient should ask the dentist of the dose of the sedative that’s appropriate for his/her health and age. The patient should also inquire with the dentist if the dose of the sedative is within what is recommended by the FDA.
  • It’s important to know how much training the dentist had. Has the dentist performed numerous procedures? The more accomplished procedures, the better.

What should you expect from being under dental sedation? – West Hills