A certain level of nervousness is but normal when visiting a dental clinic. Studies show that several adults experience mild to severe dental anxieties — with up to 16% saying that they suffer from dental phobia. To help patients relax while they undergo dental procedures, sedation dentistry is applied.
Also referred to as sleep dentistry, this entails the use of medication to induce a sense of calm in anxious patients. There are different levels of sedation. In minimal sedation, you’ll be awake yet relaxed throughout the procedure. On the other hand, moderate sedation may cause you to have trouble speaking during the treatment or forget the details of the procedure. If you’re deeply sedated, it means that you’ll still be awake but on the edge of consciousness. At the general anesthesia level, you will be completely unconscious.
Sedation dentistry can be done orally (wherein you have to take a pill) or through intravenous (IV) sedation (wherein the sedating drug will be injected into your vein). Other techniques include having the patient inhale nitrous oxide (a gas sedative) through a mask.
Is It Safe?
Every medical procedure that involves anesthesia — including dental ones — poses certain risks. However, sedation dentistry is generally safe, given that the one who will administer it is a qualified professional.
While minimal and moderate levels of sedation can be administered by most dentists, not all dentists can perform deep sedation. They have to complete a program first as it requires more elaborate techniques.
To help monitor any adverse effects, your dentist will check your vital signs throughout the treatment. If you will be exhibiting a side effect, drugs and oxygen are in place to reverse it.
Before getting sedated, it’s best to disclose any condition you (or your family members) have. Patients who are obese or have obstructive sleep apnea are at risk of developing complications from the sedatives used. Your age will also affect the dose of sedative that will be used.
A reputable dental clinic only administers FDA-approved doses. They are also strict in complying with sedation guidelines implemented by the American Dental Association. Therefore, you have to carefully choose your dentist.
Are You A Candidate?
People who are experiencing dental anxiety or phobia can consider getting sedated throughout their dental procedure. Most patients will be eligible — from children to the elderly. However, as mentioned, there are more risks involved if you have other conditions, like obesity and sleep problems.
During your initial visits, be honest with your medical history. In the same way, you also have to gauge the transparency of your dentist. You should be alert if he or she won’t be able to discuss possible side effects or the details on how the procedure will be performed.
If you’re eligible to be sedated, expect the clinic to ask you to sign a consent form. When signing, carefully go over the document and check the veracity of the information you’ll give. This will help your dentist administer the sedation and perform the dental procedure itself successfully.
You don’t have to worry about pain during at procedure done at Reston Dental Care. We are experts at sedation dentistry. Contact us today to book an appointment.