Sedation in Dentistry
Does the thought of having treatment at the dentist or even just having your teeth cleaned fill you with fear? Have you even put up with a horrible toothache because you did not want to venture into the dental surgery? Well you are not alone there are a lot of people who are very fearful and even phobic about visiting the dentist.
Luckily for those of us who really cannot face a visit to the dentist there is sedation dentistry.
How does sedation dentistry work?
The idea behind sedation dentistry is that the patient is given medication to help them be more relaxed during their treatment. The patient will not go to sleep completely unless they have general anesthetic.
Levels of sedation used will include:
- Minimal sedation –the patient is awake but is relaxed.
- Moderate sedation might cause a patient to slur their words when speaking and they will not remember much about the procedure.
- Deep sedation –at this level the patient will be on the edge of consciousness but can still be roused.
- General anesthesia –with this the patient will be completely unconscious.
Are these the same types of sedation that are used in dentistry?
In dentistry the following forms of sedation are usually administered:
- Minimal inhaled sedation: With this form of sedation the patient will be given nitrous oxide to breathe -- also known as "laughing gas" It is combined with oxygen and breathed in through a mask placed over the nose. Your dentist will control the amount of sedation and this gas tends to wear off quickly. After this sedation, you will be able to drive yourself home – this is the only kind of sedation where this is possible.
- Oral sedation: According to the total dose that is given, oral sedation can be considered in the range of minimal to medium sedation. The minimal end of the scale will be a pill, often Halcion that is part of the same family of drugs as Valium, and will be administered about an hour before the treatment is started. This will make a patient feel drowsy, but still awake. Moderate sedation will be achieved by giving a larger dose. And it is this type of anesthesia that is most commonly associated with sedation dentistry. It is not uncommon for a patient to get so groggy that they do fall asleep during the treatment although a gentle shake will wake them up.
- Moderate IV sedation: With this sedation the drug will be injected into a vein and will work very quickly. The sedation level can be continually adjusted by the dentist
- General anesthesia and deep sedation: With this medication a patient will be unconscious to deeply unconscious and unlike the moderate sedation a patient cannot be shaken awake.
Whatever type of sedation is given you will also need a local anaesthetic –a medication to numb the site that the dentist is going work on so that there is no discomfort during the procedure.
Who will be able to have sedation at the dentist's?
Sedation is usually given to patients who are very anxious and because of that do not go to the dentist.
Sedation dentistry mightadditionally be appropriate for patients who:
- Have a low pain threshold
- Find it difficult to sit still for periods of time
- For those who suffer from very sensitive teeth
- Have an exaggerated gag reflex
- Requirea lot of dental work
Children might also be given sedation if they are terrified cannot be made to cooperate. Nitrous oxide is thoughtto be safe for children, and most dentists can administer it.
Will any dentist be able to give sedation?
As far as minimal sedation is concerned most dentists will be bale to offer this and nowadays more and more dentists are able to offer moderate sedation as well.
Deep sedation and general anaesthesia are more complex techniques and fewer dentists can offer this. Mostly oral and maxillofacial surgeons as well as dentist anaesthetists .
Some dentists will use the services of a dentist anaesthetist, who is trained to administerevery level of sedation and anaesthesia to adults and children.
Is sedation dentistry safe?
There is always a risk when a patient has any form of anaesthesia. It is most often incident free when administered by an experienced professional.People in some risk groups like those who area very obese or have obstructive sleep apnoea should discuss the situation with their doctor before the think of having sedation.
It's important to check that your dentist has the right training and qualifications to administer the kind of sedation that you will have. Check that the following things are done:
Prior to the procedure, your dentist should ask for and discuss your medical history and check that you are an appropriate candidate for sedation and should ask about any medications you're taking.
Find out how much training the dentist has and how many procedures with sedation he or she has done. The more, the better.
You should get a form telling you the risks of the procedure. Discuss it with your dentist. Ask questions if you're not clear on anything.
If sedation dentistry is something that you would like to find out about then Dentists Near Me have details of dentists in a location convenient to you.