What is Sedation Dentistry?

Going to the dentist can incite fear or worry for some people. The thought of needles poking through your gums or the shrill sound of the dental drill may be enough to cause anxiety, preventing you from making an appointment with the dentist. If this scenario seems familiar, then sedation dentistry is a good route to take. You can find out more about dental sedation by consulting with your dentist about the available options.

About sedation dentistry

Sedation dentistry is a way of keeping the patient calm and relaxed through the use of sedatives during dental procedures. These sedatives may include tranquilizers, nitrous oxide and anti-anxiety medications. In the past, it was common to administer sedatives through the intravenous or IV method, which is injecting it to the blood vessels of either the arm or hand. Then again, needles can cause more anxiety to the patient.

Medical advancements in dental technology helped create alternatives for taking in sedatives without using injections. Today, patients can choose oral administration or taking in anti-anxiety medication through the mouth – gone are the needles or any apparatus for that matter. Indeed, oral sedation dentistry paves the way for a painless visit to the dentist.

What is involved?

Learning about sedation dentistry entails many factors before reaching a decision. We can take you through every step of the procedure – from the day before the treatment to the moment you head back home.

Through pre-treatment consultation, the dentist will check the dental history, the anxiety levels and other health factors of the patient. Taking sedatives may pose risks, thus it is very important for the dentist to know about medical conditions if there are any to take note of. Since some sedatives may react a certain way to vitamins, food supplements, smoking or drinking, details such as lifestyle choices and dietary habits need to be laid out on the table during a consultation. The dentist will also advise you on what food you can and can’t eat before and after the treatment. After discussing all these concerns, the dentist will decide on what type of sedative and dosage to prescribe for you.

Sometimes during the treatment, you might require assistance of a family member or a friend who can drive you to the clinic and stay with you after for a few hours. The effects of sedation dentistry may vary from patient to patient. Some may feel sedated an hour or two after the procedure, requiring assistance at home until the effects wear off.

Benefits

Sedation dentistry offers many benefits in more ways than one. Lengthy procedures such as cosmetic dentistry or dental surgeries that take more than an hour to perform may seem to last for only a few minutes for the patient under sedation. It can also cut down the number of appointments in which these complex procedures can be performed.

More importantly, sedation dentistry allows the patient to regain confidence because anxieties are kept at bay through the painless treatment. This would encourage further visits to the dentist and eventually, promote a routine of proper oral health practices for the patient.

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