Remember all the moments, when your dental appointments gave you a chill through your spine? All the nervous hours you spend in the waiting room and the moment of paranoia in the dentist chair? Yes, all these say Dental Anxiety. And yes, this feeling is a common problem faced by many across the world. Many prefer enduring the pain of a toothache or other dental issues rather than get them checked and treated. In most cases, they let their nervousness and dental anxiety get the best of them. It is important to remember that skipping essential dental procedures will have consequences.
Sedation Dentistry could be a turning point in the field of dental medicine, that could cater to this problem. So what is Sedation Dentistry, and how can it help with dental anxiety? Here we will discuss the process and benefits of them in detail.
Exploring Sedation Dentistry
Sedation dentistry translates to sleep dentistry, where the patient undergoing a dental procedure is under medication. It helps them relax on the chair through the treatment. The patients are usually awake during the process, except for some rare cases.
The dentist administers a drug relevant to the severity and requirements of the procedure and patient. This keeps the patient anxiety-free during the process. IV sedation or sedatives delivered via injections to blood vessels are, in fact, the most common form used in patients. Dental opioid CE cheat sheets guide the professionals about methods, levels and other necessary information for making important clinical decisions.
In general, there are four levels of sedation offered to patients.
- Minimal sedation - where the patient is relaxed and calm but is completely awake.
- Moderate sedation - where the patient is conscious but might feel blurry and not remember much of the procedure.
- Deep sedation - which leaves the patient at the edge of consciousness
- And General anesthesia - where the patient is completely unconscious
The various types of Sedation Dentistry
- Inhaled: Inhaling certain administered drugs is a common form of offering mild sedation to patients. Rendering a gas, such as nitrous oxide or laughing gas to the patient through a mask helps them relax. The dentist controls the amount of gas given based on the time taken for the procedure. The effects of the drug usually wear off early, and patients become completely conscious in a short duration. This type of sedation is helpful among patients with dental anxiety for going through small procedures such as refills, cleaning. In a few cases, local anesthesia in combination with the gas will give better results. It does not leave the patient sleepy or drugged and helps them calm down during the procedure.
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- Oral Sedation: Administered through an oral dose of pills or liquids, this form of sedation level is generally moderate where the patient is drowsy but awake. Halcion is a pill taken an hour or a half before the procedure for the effects to kick in. This type of sedation is useful in combination with nitrous oxide in a few cases. This helps them ensure the patient feels relaxed and ready for the procedure. This is also a simple form of dental sedation used for many common procedures in dentist offices.
- General Anaesthesia: Some dental procedures use general anesthesia for patients who are resistant to oral or IV sedation methods. This renders the patient completely unconscious during the entire procedure. Medications usually help to wear off or reverse the effects of such drugs. General Anaesthesia is also a heavier form of IV sedation, where the patient is completely asleep.
- IV Sedation: An IV sedation is a dentist choice when a slightly higher dose is essential. In cases where oral and gas sedation does not seem suitable, IV sedation is the closest alternative. Patients under IV sedation are usually at the edge of conscious or in twilight sleep and do not remember the procedure. But they are responsive to the pain and directions of the dentist, which makes various procedures easier for the dentist as well as the patient.
IV sedation – the secret to relaxing on your dentist chair
The drugs administered during IV sedation puts the patient through a state of complete relaxation. It puts the patient through temporary amnesia until it wears out. IV or intravenous means to introduce a drug into the vein. A Cannula or a tiny plastic tube is the equipment used during this procedure to do the same. The dentist administers the same in the back of the hand or the arm. Today numbing cream is also used during this procedure to ensure patients feel relaxed and stress-free during the procedure.
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Sedation dentistry uses many methods such as, gas and oral consumption to ensure that patients feel calm during the procedure. IV sedation, in particular, puts patients to a brim of sleepiness. This ensures that the person is not conscious of the procedure, thus keeping them from reacting and feeling nervous about it. Patients who have a history of bad experiences or have a phobia feel comfortable being unaware of the procedure while on the chair.
Also, patients suffering from general anxiety or resistance to local anesthetic can benefit from IV sedation. The procedure itself is simple and takes a few minutes, and the effects last long enough to take them through a pain-free dental process. In cases such as root canal, tooth extraction, sedation dentistry can come handy to mitigate anxiety and stress and ensure a safe and effective procedure. But remember that the IV sedation process itself requires the usage of a needle-like structure, which could be difficult for patients dealing with a fear of needles.
Consult your dentist
While knowing about the various possible ways of eliminating dental anxiety is good, it is important to discuss the need for the same with your dentist. The need might vary based on the severity of the procedure as well as the different reasons that might interest the patients into exploring sedation dentistry. This is an essential step that can help understand the best procedure applicable to every individual.