Dental Sedation

What is Sedation dentistry ?

Sedation dentistry is a simple procedure that dentists as well as other medical professionals can use on their patients during any surgery which is potentially painful or lengthy. It uses medication to put the patient in a very relaxed, dreamlike state whilst having surgery carried out. Therefore, sedation dentistry means that the patient does not feel the stress and anxiety that they may usually feel prior to visiting the dentist and the dental procedure taking place.

For the dentist, sedation means that surgery is easier to perform, and that more surgery can be performed in one session, reducing the number of sessions needed to carry out a course of treatment.

Sedation Dentistry is an ideal solution for those of us who suffer from dental phobia. It is used by dentists to perform dental surgery on patients in a stress and worry free way, and helps many patients overcome their fear of visiting the dentist.

It really is important to be aware of sedation dentistry if you suffer from dental phobia, because neglecting your teeth and not visiting the dentist can have harmful lasting effects to your oral health, and can often result in severe last minute surgery which can be expensive and not to mention painful.

Sedation dentistry has many great benefits for sufferers of dental phobia:

  • It allows the patient to visit their dentist without any pre-visit nerves and allows the dentist to complete the course of treatment in fewer visits than they would normally be able to do so.
  • Many kinds of dental treatments can use sedation dentistry, allowing patients with different types of dental phobia to relax and not have to suffer the usual apprehension which they experience when visiting the dentist.
  • There are many different types of sedative medications that are used to affect the patient’s central nervous system and relax the patient and put them at ease.
  • It is particularly useful for those who suffer from dental phobia and who are undergoing dental surgery for whatever purpose, however, many more people can make great benefit from sedation dentistry too. Those who have extremely sensitive teeth and find co-operating with the dentist and receiving dental treatment very painful can make full use of sedation dentistry, as it will take the pain away from their treatment allowing them to receive the health care they deserve without the stress and anxiety that may usually accompany it.
  • Patients that have conditions which make controlling their body movements difficult such as Parkinson’s disease and who have gag reflexes that make controlling their mouth stressful will also benefit from sedation dentistry and the physical and mental relaxation that it gives to the patient.
  • One of the best things about sedation dentistry is that it has numerous benefits, not just for the patient, but for the dentist too. The patient can experience a freedom from their past fear and apprehension of the dentist, allowing them to receive treatment with peace of mind, as well as receiving treatment that they have not been able to have for many years because of their dental phobia. Patients that do not normally suffer from dental phobia can still take benefit from sedation during some treatments, particularly treatments that are very painful such as surgery on the gums.
  • For the dentist sedation dentistry gives them complete control during treatment as patients are more likely to co-operate fully with their dentist, and it also reduces the amount of time and number of sessions that dentists require to carry out their treatments on patients, because more treatment can be administered in a single session.

Sedation dentistry comes in many forms, including oral sedation, inhalation sedation, and intravenous sedation. It is important for you to remember that sedation does not simply mean put to sleep, this is only part of it. Sedation techniques will make you feel drowsy, but are different from general anaesthesia, which puts you into a deep state of sleep, and has side effects which may last for hours after the surgery.

Sedation dentistry allows dentists to complete a course of treatment much more quickly than they normally would be able to. Therefore patients who have conditions that require many trips to the dentist receive great benefit from sedation dentistry as it cuts the amount of time and effort they spend in receiving their treatment.

Whilst sedation dentistry is a fantastic solution for many sufferers, not everybody is suited to it. Those who are already taking some sort of medication must alert their dentist before accepting oral sedatives, as well as those who have a history of allergic reactions to medication. Some patients may find that it is not the actual dental treatment that they are scared of, but the dentist themselves, and using sedation is unlikely to help alleviate this fear.

Choosing the right sedation dentist for you is a very important task, especially as dentist training does not cover sedation dentistry in great detail. Ask your dentist about his experience in sedation dentistry, and how many times they have performed the procedure that you require. Do not be afraid to ask hard, detailed questions to your dentist, ask exactly how you will be sedated and how you will be monitored whilst you are sedated. Also, remember to ask your dentist how you should prepare for your treatment, and instructions on what to do after your treatment.