When Is Sedation Dentistry Especially Helpful?

When Is Sedation Dentistry Especially Helpful?

Apr 01, 2020

Fearing visits to the dentists’ office is common among adults and children who for some reason begin to display higher anxiety levels even before dental procedures. Thankfully, dentistry has discovered a method for them to feel relaxed during visits to the dentists’ office.

Dentists are happy to provide information about sedation dentistry that can make patients feel relaxed during the visit. It can also be used for longer procedures like dental surgery and wisdom tooth extraction. Dentists can provide patients with conscious sedation or general anesthesia. Medications are used in conscious sedation to make the patient relaxed but awake and responsive. Medications for general anesthesia create a deep sleep-like state. These medications are also used with pain-relieving medications.

The Symptoms of Needing Sedation

People routinely have a fear of going to the dentist. Many suffer from anxiety disorders that take over them during a dental visit. Dentists are happy to discuss the concerns expressed by the patient and select options that are appropriate for him or her. Sedation dentistry can make the patient feel relaxed during the treatment. It is particularly helpful if patients are anxious. Sedation is also used for people with physical disabilities like uncontrollable movement disorders.

The Diagnosis of the Symptoms

Patients must make an effort to discuss with their dentist about their or their child’s anxiety during a visit for any reason. The dentist must be provided with information about any anxiety disorder. Giving the dentist information about any medications that are being ingested or any other medical conditions is also important. The dentist must be told about any drug allergies the patient suffers from.

Information about medications and medical conditions is not sufficient for the dentist to arrive at a proper diagnosis. Patients must be clear and provide information about the use of alcohol or illegal street drugs which they could be using. Providing the dentist with information about any neurological disorder like a traumatic brain injury or a stroke is extremely important. Your dentist needs to evaluate all the information when selecting and dosing the appropriate medication for the patient.

The Treatment

Patients may be provided with antianxiety or sedative medications before or during the visit. Patients must make arrangements to have someone that can drive them to and from the dentists’ office. The sedative or antianxiety medications will be administered as pills, liquids, injections or gases. They will be used in conjunction with medications for relieving pain.

Methods for conscious sedation utilize nitrous oxide which is commonly known as laughing gas. The nitrous oxide can be inhaled by the patient through a small mask or even have it administered intravenously. Nitrous oxide causes the patient to feel relaxed and less aware of the surroundings even as they are awake and responsive during the procedure. The dentist administering anesthesia must have a state permit to do the same.

Loss of consciousness and deep sleep is produced by general anesthesia making the patient temporarily not alert or conscious of the surroundings and unable to respond. The patient is constantly monitored during the procedure. However, the sedation wears off shortly after the procedure making the patient alert again. Patients with uncontrollable anxiety or body movements from neurological disorders find general anesthesia useful for their needs. The dentist again needs a state permit to administer general anesthesia to patients that are undergoing any dental procedure.

Sedation is also used on children to make them relaxed especially if they have special needs or are noncooperative at the dentists’ office. Children with special needs will be administered general anesthesia because it allows the procedure to be performed safely, the child needs a lengthy treatment or more complex oral surgery. General anesthesia needs intensive preparation before the treatment and requires a longer period for the recovery after the procedure. It is for this reason that conscious sedation is preferred wherever possible.

Patients having questions or concerns about sedation dentistry can contact their family dentist or their child’s pediatric dentist for any clarifications about their procedure which will be happily provided. The different techniques of sedation developed by dentistry are helping patients of all ages to overcome their dental fears for maintaining their oral and overall health in prime condition.