What are my sedation options in dentistry?
Many people expect sedation to be an option with some of the most invasive types of dental procedures – for example, during extractions and root canal. However, you may be pleased to learn that sedation dentistry is now more widely available than ever before and can be utilized in everything from a dental check-up or professional clean to these more intensive treatments.
Sedation dentistry is most often associated with people who are fearful or anxious about visiting the dentist and undergoing dental treatments. However, it is also extremely valuable for patients with disabilities and who are physically or mentally unable to tolerate a dental procedure or even a simple check-up. This includes patients with Autism and ADHD, Parkinson’s Disease, Dementia/Alzheimer’s, Down Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, Muscular Dystrophy and more. This is because sedation can enable them to sit through a dental procedure and obtain the oral health care that they deserve.
Types of sedation dentistry
Since no two patients are the same and dental procedures can also vary widely. As such, there are varying degrees of sedation available, and our dental team will be delighted to recommend the right level of sedation for your individual needs. These will fall into one of three categories.
This is administered in the form of nitrous oxide gas delivered through a mask over your nose. This is very short-term and only effective while you are breathing the gas. You will feel relaxed and calm but have virtually full awareness of what is going on around you.
Usually delivered in pill form that is swallowed an hour or so before your procedure, this delivers a greater degree of sedation and you will have very little awareness of what is happening around you for the duration of your procedure.
Administered intravenously, this puts you on the very edge of consciousness and enables patients to tolerate even the most invasive of procedures.
Moderate and light sedation can take some time to wear off, and so you will need to arrange for someone to take you home and stay with you until you feel that the effects have left your body completely.
Benefits of sedation dentistry
There are a variety of advantages to choosing sedation dentistry for your next dental appointment. These include the following:
Enable patients to remain still
Unsurprisingly, the point of sedation dentistry is to relax and calm the patient so that they can tolerate whatever dental treatment they are undergoing. This can also enable them to remain still – something which is crucial for the safe execution of any dental procedure since the instruments used can be very sharp. By sedating you and ensuring that you are fairly still, we can ensure that any dental procedures are performed with the upmost safety. This minimizes the risks of complications such as those caused by unpredictable flinches and jerks.
Better quality dental treatment
Since sedation means that you are calm and relaxed, our dentistry team have the time that they need to perform your dental treatment. This means that the quality of the treatment is far better as there is no need to rush. Your dentist can work slowly, with care and precision, to make sure that the outcome of your treatment is the very best possible.
Control your fear
No-one likes to feel scared. Nevertheless, this is a very real problem for many patients who have severe anxiety about visiting the dentist. In most instances, this relates back to a childhood experience where you weren’t properly prepared, or maybe you had a close relative such as a parent that placed a negative view on visiting the dentist. Fortunately, sedation dentistry makes is possible for you to conquer this fear and ensure that you don’t pass it on to your own children.
Improved dental health and overall wellbeing
Patients who are fearful of the dentist, or who have physical or cognitive disabilities that make it difficult or impossible for them to withstand regular dental appointments, often find that their dental health suffers immensely. Cavities and broken teeth are very common, and in many cases, patients go on to develop periodontal disease. Periodontal disease is an inflammatory condition that occurs when plaque isn’t cleaned away from the teeth and is instead allowed to accumulate on them, and eventually spread on to the gum tissue. When this happens, the bacteria irritate the gums, causing swelling, redness, bleeding and infection. Left untreated, periodontal disease leads to tooth loss, jaw bone deterioration and even widespread health problems as the bacteria enter the bloodstream and move to the major organs. Studies have shown that patients with periodontal disease are more likely to suffer from problems such as diabetes, kidney disease, Alzheimer’s Disease, high blood pressure, stroke and more.
If you would like to learn more about sedation dentistry, or if you would like to book an appointment to discuss your candidacy for sedation, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our experienced and reassuring dentistry team at our office in Inman, KS today.