Benefits of Choosing Sedation Dentistry
Published on February 22, 2019
By Perio On The Park | Central Park, New York
Sedation dentistry is exactly what you might expect – routine dentistry procedures performed while the patient is under the effects of sedative medications. The purpose of giving these medications is to help the patient remain calm, still and relaxed for the duration of their appointment and the ingredients within each type of sedative drug enable their body to respond in this way.
Sedation dentistry is becoming increasingly common amongst patients who are fearful or anxious about visiting the dentist as it enables them to tolerate even the most invasive of dental treatments. However, it is also widely recommended for patients who have physical or cognitive disabilities. This is because these conditions can make it impossible to remain still – something which is critical in procedures where sharp implements may be used. Alternatively, patients with cognitive disabilities may not understand the instructions given to them by their dentist – such as holding their mouth open and sitting still.
Types of sedation used in sedation dentistry
There are varying degrees of sedation and which will be recommended for you will depend on the type of appointment you have and how severely you are handicapped by your fear of the dentist, or by the physical or cognitive impairment that makes it difficult or impossible for you or your loved one to ordinarily tolerate dental treatment. Sedation tends to fall into one of three categories:
This is where the patient has considerable awareness of what is going on around them but isn’t anxious or fearful. It is normally administered as nitrous oxide aka laughing gas, administered via a mask placed over the nose.
Patients who require moderate sedation are usually given a pill containing sedative drugs around an hour before their appointment. They will have very little to no awareness of what is happening during their procedure.
Deep sedation is usually administered intravenously and placed the patient on the very edge of consciousness. You will have no memory of the appointment and will need a few hours for the effect of the sedative to wear off.
In some instances, it may be necessary for a patient to have dental work carried out under a general anesthetic. If this is likely to apply to you, your dentist will talk to you about the risks associated with the use of general anesthetic and what you can expect to happen.
Benefits of Choosing Sedation Dentistry
As you might expect, sedation dentistry offers patients several different benefits, not least the opportunity to have significantly improved dental health. This is because it makes it possible for even the most frightened, anxious or disabled patient to be able to undergo everything from a dental check-up to invasive treatment such as root canal. This ensures that any potential dental problems can be diagnosed promptly, before they cause you to experience too many unpleasant symptoms. This can also enable you to avoid extensive and expensive dental treatments, and ensure that your smile remains healthy, attractive and functional for as long as possible.
If you choose sedation dentistry, you will also be at far lower risk of developing complications as a result of your procedure. This is because although dental treatments require us to stay as still as possible, we often can’t help but inadvertently flinch or move if we are anxious or scared. However, since many dental treatments involve the use of sharp instruments, this increases the risk of an accidental nip or scratch. If you are unlucky, this could cause damage to part of your mouth and lead to complications such as a severed nerve or excessive bleeding.
You may also be surprised to learn that sedative medications actually make it easier for you to tolerate pain, despite not containing anesthetic. This is because of their ability to relax you, which will naturally cause you to be less susceptible to pain and able to manage minor discomfort much more easily.
If you think that you may benefit from sedation dentistry and would like to find out more about this valuable service, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our friendly and reassuring dental team here at Perio On The Park in Central Park, New York, who will be delighted to help you.