Who is a candidate for sedation dentistry?
You may not have heard of sedation dentistry before, but for a surprising number of patients, it is revolutionizing their dental care. This is because sedation dentistry involves the use of medications designed to calm and relax the patient to the point where their dentist can carry out a routine or specialist dental procedure without causing them to become unduly stressed.
What is sedation dentistry?
Sedation dentistry is the name given to the use of sedative drugs in the course of dental procedures. This is done with the aim of enabling an anxious or impaired patient to tolerate a dental appointment.
There are various types of sedation available, and which our dentist will recommend will depend on various different factors, including the extent of your fear and the type of appointment that you need to attend. Any good dentist that offers sedation will always give patients the mildest sedation possible depending on the circumstances. For example, a patient needing a simple check-up will almost certainly be offered less sedation than a patient needing an invasive dental procedure.
Types of sedation include:
- nitrous oxide (mild)
- oral medications taken an hour before your procedure (moderate)
- intravenous drugs (severe)
In some instances, it may be necessary for you to have your procedure under general anesthetic. This means that you will be completely unconscious for the duration of the appointment. Moderate to severe sedation, as well as general anesthetic, can cause you to experience side effects for a number of hours after. For this reason, you will be unable to drive for at least 24 hours and should have someone take you home and stay with you under you are completely recovered.
Who is a good candidate for sedation dentistry?
People who make good candidates for sedation dentistry typically fall into one of two categories.
Patients with a fear of the dentist
Fear of the dentist is an extremely common problem, but it is something that causes millions of people each year to put their dental health at risk. There are many reasons why you might be scared of visiting our dentist, from a bad experience when you were younger to a fear of the unknown. There are also many different ways in which this fear manifests itself, with some of the most common symptoms of dental anxiety being:
- Rapid heartbeat
However, when you choose to avoid visiting our dentist, you are neglecting to give him/her the opportunity to monitor the health and wellbeing of your teeth and mouth. This could mean that dental problems that are entirely preventable are causing irreversible damage to your smile. By diagnosing and treating dental issues early, you and our dentist can prevent them from necessitating extensive and expensive procedures. Since poor oral health has also been shown to contribute towards the development of some chronic health conditions including diabetes, poor liver function and even Alheimer’s.
Patients who are unable to tolerate regular dental appointments
Sitting still in a chair might be no big deal to many people, but for some patients it is something that is simply impossible. Often this is because they have a disability that means that they are either unable to physically remain still, or they lack the understanding to do so. Similarly, the patient must be able to hold their mouth open and follow the instructions given by their dentist. Both of these elements of a dental appointment are very important, since dentistry involved very small and sharp instruments. Any sudden movements could cause an accident or injury to either the patient or dentist. As such, patients with physical or cognitive disabilities may be unable to tolerate a regular dental appointment with the use of sedative medications.
If you think that you would be a good candidate for sedation dentistry, or if you have further questions about the service, our knowledgeable and professional team would be delighted to have the opportunity to assist you. Please don’t hesitate to contact us.