All About Sedation Dentistry
Highly stressed about coming to the dentist? A good solution may be sedation dentistry. When it comes to going to the dentist, there are many people who feel very uncomfortable with the process. This can lead to them avoiding getting cleanings and other necessary procedures done, which can be medically dangerous and end up costing money and pain down the line.
This is a type of dentistry where the doctor and the staff use medication in order to help the patient relax. The team will monitor the patient throughout the procedure in order to make adjustments as needed. In most cases the person is still awake and aware, though this is not always true. There are four levels of sedation that are employed during this type of dental practice.
The first is minimal sedation. With this, you would be completely awake, just a little more relaxed. The next stage is moderate; in this state, you will not remember much and probably have difficulty speaking and using your motor skills. After that is deep sedation, where you would have minimal awareness but retain consciousness. The fourth type of sedation is general anesthesia, where you would be completely unconscious.
The dentist will determine what type of sedation is best for you and the procedures that you are needing. There are several things that will factor into the process, including how much anxiety and fear you have about getting dental work done. They will also look into your insurance to find out what types of sedation dentistry are covered under your plan. There are often different rules depending upon the plan and the procedures that are being done.
In fact, the types of procedure can make a difference in what the dentist will recommend. For example, in the case of pulling out wisdom teeth or other surgical procedures, a deeper level of sedation is virtually always recommended. However, as medical professionals, they will work with patients who have other concerns or want to employ other forms of relaxation along with the medication.
The most common type of sedation that is used in the dental profession is nitrous oxide. This is known by most people as laughing gas. It has a very relaxing effect and is used by having the patient breath through a mask. The amount of gas that the patient is given can be adjusted so that the doctor retains a high level of control. This form of sedation wears off very quickly and patients can usually drive themselves home afterwards.
In other instances of sedation dentistry, the doctor may prescribe an oral medication to be taken shortly before the procedure. The dentist may choose to use an IV sedative, where the patient receives the medication through a vein. The medical team retains a high level of control on the amount of sedation a patient has. General anesthesia is used in extreme cases and it will take several hours for it to completely wear off.
Sedation dentistry is one of the best ways for anxious patients to face their fears and have the necessary work done to maintain their level of oral care. Over time, a person may find that it becomes easier to visit the dentist and they may be able to reduce their dependence upon medication.
However, there are times when it is needful, even when the patient is not experiencing anxiety. For certain types of surgical or prolonged procedures, it is often easier for the dentist to provide some form of sedation so that the person is able to relax while the dental team does their work. Both parties benefit from this.
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