Sedation dentistry is a useful coping tool for the person that avoids the dentist as long as they possibly can. If it takes excruciating pain for you to overcome your aversion to the sights and smells of the dentist’s office, read on to find out if there is a workaround that could work for you.
About sedation dentistry
Sedation is the lowering of a patient’s level of consciousness to remove anxiety, block pain, and keep the patient calm for the duration of a procedure. There are different levels of sedation that a dentist can render.
- Oral sedation, which is administered in pill form
- IV sedation, where the sedative is injected into a blood vessel or muscle
- General anesthesia, where the patient loses consciousness
A dentist will choose the type of sedation that is appropriate for a certain dental procedure. The level of sedation (minimal, moderate, or deep) will also account for a patient’s medical status and anxiety level.
For example, minor oral surgery may require IV sedation. A different patient may be able to get through the same procedure with the help of an oral sedative. However, a patient with a phobia of the dentist may need general anesthesia to get through a bone graft or a set of dental implants. This brings us to the question: Who is an ideal candidate for sedation dentistry?
Candidates for sedation dentistry
The use of oral, gaseous, and IV sedatives requires a high level of care on the part of the dentist, which is why they will screen their patients. Here is what a dentist looks for in the ideal candidate for sedation dentistry
1. The patient who grapples with extreme anxiety
If it takes excruciating pain to get an individual in the same building as a dentist, then that person could benefit from sedation. In contrast, a person that does not fear the dentist can undergo a minor or moderate procedure under local anesthetic.
2. The person who feels a lot of pain
A dental procedure can be complicated by tooth sensitivity, the location of a nerve, injury, or extensive damage. In such scenarios, a dentist may recommend sedation to manage the pain. A patient who experiences an elevated level of pain may also request sedation.
3. A patient with a gag reflex
Unless a dental problem is urgent, dentists advise their sick patients to reschedule dental procedures until they recover. Dental procedures require the patient to be still, so coughing, sneezing, and gagging are not recommended. A healthy patient can still have a strong gag reflex, so a dentist will use a sedative to suppress it.
4. A patient going through a long, intensive procedure
Some dental procedures take longer than others. For the average patient, tolerance to pain and an open mouth diminishes with time. So a dentist may recommend sedation for longer procedures.
Find out if sedation dentistry can work for you
A good dentist makes your health and well-being their highest priority. The dentist will perform an extensive evaluation that covers your oral and systemic health. They will clear you by making sure that you are physically and medically fit to undergo sedation. If you want to know if sedation dentistry is an option for you, visit a dentist near you.