Sedation dentistry involves using medications to induce a state of extreme relaxation while you are having an oral procedure done. It does not make you unconscious, but it does significantly decrease your sensitivity to pain. It can also induce a state of short-term amnesia so that you have little memory of what happened during the…
Making Sedation Dentistry Safe
Many people believe that sedation dentistry is risky, but this is far from the truth. Sedation has helped many patients struggling with dental fear or anxiety tolerate dental procedures. It makes the process safe and more comfortable to deal with. If you avoid visiting the dentist due to anxiety issues or past unpleasant experiences, then you should discuss sedation options with the dental professional. This article talks about the measures used to alleviate concerns about the safety of sedation dentistry.
The need for sedation dentistry
Besides having past negative experiences at the dentist, patients can also get dental sedation if they fear drills or needles and have poor gag reflex or resistance to anesthetics. Sedation can be helpful for those who need prolonged, complex dental procedures or who need to undergo multiple treatments within a specific timeframe.
The dentist may also provide sedation to younger patients who may be scared at the dental office or will not remain still enough to get any work done. It is normal for parents to be worried about the safety of such sedation options. However, for most patients, adults and children alike, the experience is usually positive and comfortable.
The sedation method used depends on the patient, the estimated treatment duration, and the nature of the dental procedure. One option is oral sedation, which involves using a sedative medication before the appointment. The dentist will recommend the proper dosage to achieve the right level of sedation. This option leaves patients relaxed and half-conscious, so they can still respond to directions from the dentist.
Another option is nitrous oxide, which is more commonly used for simple or quick procedures because the effects are not long-lasting. It is also called laughing gas and is provided via a breathing mask and personalized for the patient. Patients remain awake and can get back to their routine afterward.
Mitigating the risks of sedation
The dentist’s priority is the patient’s safety whenever they have to use sedation or anesthetic. They follow all medical guidelines regarding the safe use of sedatives and the administration methods. However, certain factors may affect a patient’s eligibility for safe sedation use. Habits like smoking and drinking, certain medications, and health conditions like sleep apnea can affect the sedation effects. The dentist will evaluate the patient’s medical history and get all the required information to ensure that it is safe to recommend sedation.
After administering the sedation, the patient’s vital signs, such as their heart rate and blood pressure, will be monitored throughout the dental procedure to ensure safety. Patients looking to get sedation will need to arrange for transport home after the appointment. Younger patients may struggle with the sedation’s aftermath; dizziness, nausea, and sleepiness may occur, so they may need to be monitored by a parent or responsible adult for a while.
If you are curious about the safety of sedation dentistry, feel free to book an appointment with the dentist to ask questions.
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