Fifty percent of the population put aside Dental Care. Reasons vary from fear or phobia, bad previous experience at a dental office, difficulty getting numb, bad gag reflex, highly sensitive teeth, or not enough time to set aside. Sedation Dentistry relieves all the symptoms of fear, and anxieties, by various methods. Only trained dentists perform sedation dentistry. Patient feels drowsy, or unconscious, and no discomfort. During sedation, more dental work can be accomplished rather then in more office visits. Sedated patients can undergo dental procedures for cleanings, implants, fillings, crowns, bridges, oral surgery, periodontal surgery, root canals, and extraction’s. Patients need to inform their dentist of any medication they are taking, before administrating any sedation. Disadvantage: Sedation dentistry can cost more, and then patients that don’t use sedation. Four approaches to sedation dentistry.
Oral Sedation: A sedative administered by a pill. Most common medication is Valium, Halcion, Xanax or Ativan. Some patients may take longer to feel the effects or may need a higher dosage. Taken between 30 – 60 minutes before the appointment.
Topical Anesthesia: Medication in the form of gels, sprays, or adhesive patches, applied to the skin or mucous membranes, to ease the pain of injected drugs.
General Anesthesia or laughing gas: Deepest level of inhalation sedation by Nitrous Oxide gas, which is sweet – smelling and non – irritating. Patients experience a euphoric feeling, and afterwards have no hangover effect. Unfortunately not good for patients that have difficulty breathing through their nose, where gas is administered. Safe for patients, have Epilepsy, Diabetes, liver, heart or cerebrovascular disease. Patients that fear needles prefer this type of anesthesia.
Intravenous Sedation (IV): Patients told not to eat six hours before this procedure. Drugs administered into the bloodstream through a vein. That is the highest level of sedation, and in a controlled environment. Sometimes referred to as the ‘twilight sleep’ or ‘sleep dentistry.’ Patients have either a partial or full memory loss after the procedure. Most common use drugs are benzodiazepines or “benzos,” which are anti – anxiety sedative drugs or Propfol. Recommended for long dental procedures, young patients with behavioral difficulties, Parkinson’s or cerebral palsy, severe dental phobia, or very sensitive teeth. After sedation, patients need to be escorted home, and rest for the remainder of the day.
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Other additional methods, along with sedation dentistry, maybe be offered by the dentist, including watching a movie or listening to music, as a distraction from a dental procedure. Some dental office examination room, have an aquarium to watch marine life or relaxing picture to observe.