Sedation dentistry describes the administration of certain pharmacological agents for the purpose of calming and relaxing a patient before and during a dental procedure. These sedative agents can be administered through inhalation, injection, or by means of a topical, intravenous or oral medication. A sedative may be prescribed by the dentist for special circumstances, while some patients may require this form of dentistry because they have specific phobias or are otherwise unable to withstand extreme pain. Regardless of the cause of sedation, it is a useful tool for dentists to provide comfort and relief to their patients.
Many individuals suffer from a fear of going to the dentist. This can include a fear of pain, needles, or any other number of things. For these individuals, sedation dentistry offers the ability to be able to go into the office and face the procedures that they fear most without experiencing any type of fear or anxiety. The sedation will work by blocking out or masking these feelings of fear. Other patients who undergo sedation dentistry do so because they have severe anxiety or depression associated with their dental treatment. These patients typically have trouble sleeping or are simply embarrassed about having to go into the dentist’s office. For these patients, sedation dentistry offers a unique solution.
Sedation can be administered via a nasal spray that is administered just before the dental procedure. The sedative will block all feelings and thoughts of pain or discomfort and allow patients to focus on the process at hand. The spray also has the added benefit of eliminating any lingering effects of the sedative such as drowsiness which can result from the medication taken the previous day.
Another use for sedation dentistry comes in the form of a relaxing nitrous oxide vaporizer. When people experience an anxiety-related procedure, they typically have a hard time breathing or concentrating during the procedure. With the use of the sedation dentistry nitrous oxide vaporizer, the patient will be able to inhale the sedative without worrying about any problems while they are under sedation. This allows the dentist to complete the procedure and continue with the patient without any issues arising.
Some sedation dentistry patients have had allergic reactions to other types of medications previously used to sedate patients before dental procedures. For these patients, allergy shots are available which mask the effect of the sedative. These allergy shots are usually administered one to three hours before the procedure. Even if the patient is otherwise healthy, some sedation dentistry procedures may still be considered high risk because of the potential for allergy-related complications. This is why it is imperative to let the dentist know about all allergies prior to treatment.
IV sedation dentistry is commonly used by patients suffering from allergies or other medical conditions. Many times a patient will become anxious when being administered any type of medication by a healthcare professional. With the use of sedatives, the anxiety level of the patient is greatly reduced allowing for better medical care. IV sedation dentistry is often administered by dentists as a means of providing comfort and relieving stress for those who are under stress due to other factors.
While sedation dentistry does not utilize general anesthesia, it can be used as a method to lessen the pain of certain dental procedures. General anesthesia is used for patients who are having dental surgery or dental implants. Sedation dentistry, on the other hand, bypasses the need for general anesthesia and allows patients to experience mild to moderate sedation. This method is commonly used in patients who have phobias or are otherwise unable to withstand extreme pain during dental procedures.
The majority of patients that use sedation dentistry for routine dental care do so to relieve their anxiety over a specific dental procedure. In some cases, patients have an issue with a certain procedure and would like to have more freedom during the procedure. The sedation dentistry procedure allows them to be able to go into the procedure and still feel calm and relaxed. This allows them to focus on the task at hand and provides comfort and peace during what can be a very stressful situation. Sedation dentistry is used in the dental office as well as in the operating room for routine dental care.