Face your fears with sedation dentistry
There are people who delayed going to the dentist because of an unexplained fear or worst, a fear that is deep-rooted in one’s childhood dental experience. Unexplained dental fear is often called dental anxiety, while dental phobia is an intense, serious fear of any dental procedures; this might be brought about by a negative childhood dental experience. So, how does a dentist go about in treating dental problems of those with dental anxiety or dental phobia? Simple, they use the technique called sedation dentistry.
What is sedation dentistry? It is a dental technique which uses medications to calm an anxious patient during a dental procedure. Depending on your condition and the type of the procedure to be performed, your dentist decides on what level of sedation you need to be put through. Levels of sedation dentistry are:
• Minimal sedation – The patient is awake and coherent but relaxed. It is often achieved through the use of an inhaled sedative or an oral sedative. An inhaled sedative, like nitrous oxide, relaxes a patient just by inhaling it. Minimal sedation through a pill is done by controlling the dosage of an oral sedative. Benzodiazepines, such as Halcion, are often used during dental sedation.
• Moderate sedation – The patient is awake but remembers little or no memory of what has happened during the procedure. Moderate sedation is achieved through larger doses of oral sedatives.
• Deep sedation – The patient is at the edge of consciousness but still can be roused by a stimulant. Deep sedation is achieved through intravenous (IV) sedatives.
The discovery of sedation dentistry is favorable for most patients who have dental anxiety or phobia. Its benefits are:
• It relaxes the patient thus increasing their level of comfort
• It manages gag reflexes caused by anxiety.
• It reduces unnecessary movements brought about by anxiety.
• It helps the patient not to remember the gruesome details of the procedure.
• It helps the patient feel that the procedure has lasted for a few minutes when I fact it is longer.
• It helps the patient endure dental procedures that requires an extensive amount of time.
• Sedation makes it easier for the dentist to perform procedures thus providing an exceptional quality of treatment.
Sedation dentistry is safe as long as it is administered by a qualified and duly trained dentist. It is contraindicated to some patients, specifically to those who are obese and those who have obstructive sleeping apnea. It is very important to discuss with your dentist about your health history and illnesses which can put you at risk in undergoing sedation.