Sedation dentistry is the term used to describe a dentist who uses sedation in order to provide an anxiety-free dental experience for patients that are receiving dental treatment. It is commonly used for patients who are too afraid to visit the dentist due to dental phobia, or fear of dental treatment which prevents many people from receiving the necessary routine dental care required in order to maintain good oral hygiene.
How Does Sedation Work?
The term sedation refers to the process that is used to induce a relaxed, calm state of the body and mind through the use of sedatives. Over time, the IV (intravenous) sedation that used injection into your blood stream via your hand or arm was the primary method used by dentists. This has evolved to also include sedation drugs (nitrous oxide, tranquillizers, depressants, anti-anxiety meds, and so froth) that can be given to the patient in a variety of methods. These additional methods give patients an alternative to inhaling nitrous oxide or “laughing gas” or taking an IV. The ultimate goal of modern-day sedation techniques is to provide as relaxing of an environment as possible for the patient.
Why is Oral Sedation Popular?
Oral sedation dentistry is one of the most common techniques used to help patients that have an inherent fear of the dentist to be able to seek the treatment that they need while quelling their fear of the dentist. Since oral sedation does not use needles with an IV, the patients do not have the added fear of seeing blood with an IV and the medications that are administered to the patient make them feel as though they sleep through the treatment many times. Oral sedation, however, does keep the patient in a state of consciousness for their safety. Sedation techniques do not take the place of the dentist having to use a local anesthetic injection for tooth extraction or other procedures that may induce pain in the patent’s mouth. They can be used in conjunction with local anesthetics, but sedation dentists will apply the anesthetic after the patient has already been sedated in order to avoid additional anxiety build-up in the patient.
Getting to Your Sedation Dentistry Appointment
When you are planning on seeking treatment from a sedation dentist, an important planning consideration that you should keep in mind is arranging for a responsible adult to be available to drive you to and from the appointment. Most sedation dentists will reccomend that the adult remain with you for a timeframe of two to four house afer the appointment in order to help you get through the effects of the sedation and to bring you back to the dentist in the event of any complications after receiving your treatment. Some sedation medications will be required to be take before you go to the dentist, so ensure you have a ride going to your appointment before taking any of the prescribed medication.
How Does Sedation Dentistry Benefit You?
Sedation dentistry benefits patients who have a lot of anxiety or fear about seeing the dentist. It also has the benefit of making you feel like the procedure you are undergoing only lasts for a short time frame, even if it takes several hours to complete. This allows the dentist to complete complex procedures such as a cosmetic smile makeover, a mouth reconstruction, or other cosmetic dental procedures in less total appointments than if you were not undergoing sedation. You do need to verify what your insurance will cover before arranging a sedation dentist appointment. If the sedation will permit your dentist to complete a procedure in less time or number of appointments, your dental health insurance will be more likely to cover the sedation procedure.
- Sedation Dentistry Methods
- What is Dental Conscious Sedation?