What is Sedation Dentistry?
Does the thought of having your teeth cleaned make your entire body tense with fear? Would you rather endure the agony of a toothache than step foot in a dentist’s office? You’re not alone. A trip to the dentist is so anxiety provoking for many people that they prefer not to have any treatment. If the thought of seeing your dentist for a routine visit puts a bad feeling in the pit of your stomach, an anesthetic may be the solution to ease your anxiety. Sedation can be used for everything from invasive procedures to a simple tooth cleaning. It uses a combination of techniques, ranging from nitrous oxide or “laughing gas” to general anesthesia, to relax a patient during surgeries or otherwise uncomfortable appointments. For even the most severe dental phobias, there is no reason to avoid the dentist altogether.
What Is Sedation Dentistry?
Sedation dentistry uses medication to help patients relax during dental procedures. It’s sometimes referred to as “sleep dentistry,” although that’s not entirely accurate. Patients are usually awake with the exception of those who are under general anesthesia. The levels of sedation used include:
How do I know if I am a candidate for sedation?
Your overall health, as well as physical and mental conditions you may be battling at the time, are important to be able to safely undergo certain types of sedation, especially in the dental office. Some of these conditions may require clearance from a physician: cardiac disease, hypertension, diabetes and respiratory diseases should all be addressed prior to a given type of sedation. Your dentist will take a thorough medical history and physical assessment before proceeding, and if need be, recommend a product to get home care on the right track. They may also ask you to receive medical clearance from your physician too.
What are the types of dental sedation?
Can any dentist perform sedation?
Although most dentists are qualified to administer nitrous oxide, other types of sedation require additional training, equipment and emergency supplies. And because the vast majority of the U.S. requires that the dentist have a sedation license to perform these techniques, not every office will provide the service you’d like. For this reason, some may choose to contract qualified physicians or dentists to come to their office to perform sedation for their patients.
How safe is sedation dentistry?
There is always a risk in getting anesthesia. It is usually safe, though, when given by experienced dentists. However, certain people, such as those who are obese or who have obstructive sleep apnea, should talk to their doctor before having sedation. That’s because they are more likely to develop complications from the anesthesia. It’s important to make sure that your dentist is trained and qualified to administer the type of sedation you will be receiving. To be a smart patient, you should make sure the following things are done:
Do you have any questions about sedation dentistry? Call Westermeier Martin Dental care to schedule an appointment with your dentist 716-655-5000 or request an appointment online.