There are different types of sedation dentistry … with oral surgery such as having third molars extracted, sleep sedation is often employed (this is also referred to as IV sedation). But for patients suffering from anxiety, the inability to recline for extended periods, or any mental/physical disability, oral sedation may be the ideal solution.
With oral sedation, the patient takes a sedative at home about one hour before their appointment. Upon arrival at the dental office and being seated in the treatment room, an additional sedative is administered. The patient goes from a moderately relaxed state to totally relaxed. In many instances, the patient feels like they slept through treatment; however, they do remain conscious.
Depending on what procedures are planned, an additional anesthetic (a numbing agent) may be administered. Anxious patients may opt for oral sedation for standard cleaning appointments; if decay is detected, cavities can be treated. For more serious problems like a fractured tooth, the tooth can be prepared for crown. Anything that can be treated during this appointment is completed, if possible.
As with any type of sedative, the patient will feel groggy for a few hours. Transportation to and from the dental office is required. Since the patient has remained conscious, they can leave as soon as they feel alert enough to do so. Upon arriving at home, it is advisable to have someone remain with the patient for a few hours … returning to work or school is discouraged.
Oral sedation dentistry is a great option for everyone involved. The patient can receive much needed dental treatment; the dentist can render care without worrying about the anxiety level of the patient; and everyone is relieved that the safety and comfort of the patient is being addressed.
Your dentist is required to receive additional education before being able to offer oral sedation. The dental office is equipped and the staff are trained to provide an environment that meets the requirements that govern oral sedation administration.
Of course, daily oral maintenance will help keep teeth healthy between dental visits … brush twice daily with a fluoridated tooth paste; and floss every day to remove food debris not reached during brushing.
To learn more about sedation dentistry or to schedule your next dental visit, contact the office of Dr. Eric Smith at 940-321-2340.
09 Jan 2017
Dental anxiety can be a serious problem for patients who avoid the dentist because of their fear. This tendency can prevent the patient from accessing the care they need to maintain a healthy, beautiful smile. Fortunately, there are some tips and techniques that you can use to overcome your dental anxiety and get the treatment you need.
First and foremost, you should be open with your dentist about any fears or concerns that you may have. There’s no need to be ashamed of dental anxiety. It’s a common condition. However, when you are upfront about that anxiety, your provider can address any specific concerns that you have and make sure that you are well-informed throughout the appointment and may adjust his or her technique in caring for you.
You can also do certain things to help keep calm during the appointment, such as focusing on breathing slowly and consistently. Avoiding caffeinated beverages, which can increase anxiety, before the appointment can also help, as can listening to music to block out unsettling sounds associated with the office.
Sedation dentistry is another useful tool for fearful patients. This approach uses sedative medications to help the patient achieve a deeply relaxed, sleep-like state. The patient remains conscious and able to respond to the provider’s instructions and the airway is not compromised. Additionally, the sedatives have an amnestic effect so the patient has no recollection of the treatment after it is complete.
Sedation dentistry is appropriate for routine appointments as well as more involved interventions. Your provider may offer different delivery methods for the sedatives, so explore these options to determine which one best meets your needs.
Don’t let dental anxiety keep you from getting routine exams, cleanings and other treatments that will help keep your smile in tip-top shape. Talk to our knowledgeable staff members to learn about the techniques and interventions that can help you overcome this obstacle to care.
Many patients deal with extreme apprehension at the mere thought of going to the dentist. Even a regular check-up is overwhelming for some. But the availability of sedation dentistry has provided a practical solution for many individuals.
It is not just nervous patients that can benefit from sedation dentistry. Physical or mental limitations can make dental treatment impractical. The inability to recline for extended periods can make many procedures difficult to complete.
The requirements for utilizing sedation dentistry are minimal … reliable transportation is a must. Since the patient will be in a somewhat groggy state for several hours, a ride to and from the dental office is needed; it is also helpful to have someone be able to stay with the patient on their return home for a few hours to assist as needed and prevent accidental falls.
Sedation dentistry is administered by a dentist who has completed the necessary training; the office and assisting dental staff are prepared to offer the safest and most comfortable treatment available.
Your treatment starts at home with the administration of an oral sedative about an hour before your scheduled appointment. Upon arrival at the dental office, you are already feeling relaxed. Additional medication is given; and although you remain conscious throughout your procedure, many patients don’t remember anything as if they slept during treatment.
The patient is continually monitored. And since they are so relaxed, there is no stress for either the patient or the dentist rendering treatment. Very often, hygiene visits can be coupled with needed restorative work so the patient can have all dental work completed in one easy visit.
The patient will be advised to go home and rest upon treatment completion … returning to work or school the same day is typically not recommended. However, the following day the patient should not experience any side effects from the sedatives given and can expect to proceed with their normal schedule.
Sedation dentistry is beneficial for patients with anxiety and/or disabilities. It is safe, effective, and opens the door for patients that have endured a lifetime of dental problems due to their inability to make and keep dental appointments.
To learn more about your options for sedation or to schedule an exam, contact the office of Dr. Eric Smith at 940-321-2340 today.