If you are looking into having a major dental procedure performed but are worried your anxieties may get the best of you, let’s talk about the option of sedation.
Sedation dentistry offers a variety of benefits for both the patient and the dentist. These include:
- An elevated level of tranquil relaxation and comfort for you. This extends to the sensation of pain that would likely flare up during an intricate procedure like a root canal. This can also be a great option for patients coping with sensitive teeth.
- A sharp decrease in the chance of involuntary movements that may increase the time that your dentist spends working on your teeth and gums.
- Suppression of the gag reflex; some procedures require a dental technician to reach far back into the mouth and cause the gag reflex to flare up, sending caustic acid to fly out of the mouth along with the patient’s stomach contents.
- Impaired memory of the event. Patients with a phobia of the dentist, drills, or other common elements of the dental profession may appreciate having little to no recollection of the procedures.
- Fewer visits for an intensive procedure. A relaxed patient gives the dentist more time to work on that patient’s mouth over the span of the appointment. The more work that a dentist does on a patient’s mouth, the fewer additional appointments will be required of that patient.
Patients curious about the sorts of approaches involved in sedative dentistry should know that there are several techniques:
- Ingested treatments; commonly Halcion, a pill related to the drug Valium.
- Gas, commonly nitrous oxide, also known as “laughing gas”.
- Injection treatments. Injection treatments afford your dentist a greater level of control over dosage and can go to work far more quickly than a treatment like Halcion.
In addition to approach, we can control how deep the sedation takes hold. This can vary from a mild state of relaxation and full consciousness, to a slightly deeper level that tends to result in slurred speech and spotty awareness, to a deep level of sedation that brings the patient to the border of unconsciousness to a general anesthetic that leaves the patient temporarily unconscious.