Sedation dentistry has gained popularity in recent years by providing a solution for patients that are unable to physically recline for extended periods, patients suffering from mental disabilities making treatment difficult for the patient and dentist, and for individuals suffering from high anxiety preventing them from receiving even the most benign dental treatment.
Surgical procedures usually require sedation where the patient is unconscious. However, the very popular oral sedation allows the patient to remain calm and sedated, but awake throughout treatment. Some of the questions asked about sedation dentistry include:
Can every dentist offer sedation dentistry?
The dentist must undergo special training to offer this benefit. The staff must be trained and have special equipment available for the safety and comfort of the patient.
Are there shots or needles required?
Depending on the procedure, your dentist may elect to numb the area to be treated; however, the patient is already sedated when this occurs. There are no shots rendered for sedation, all medications are taken orally.
What types of procedures qualify for sedation dentistry?
Patients may wish to be sedated for their six month hygienic cleaning. Any need for further treatment may be diagnosed and completed during this same appointment, such as cavity repair, periodontal treatment and minor extractions, just to name a few.
What type of medication is used?
An oral sedative is taken about one hour before the scheduled appointment. Reliable transportation is required as the patient will be sedated and unable to drive either to or from their appointment.
What happens when I arrive for my appointment?
The already somewhat sedated patient is escorted to the treatment room where vital signs are checked and continually monitored throughout the appointment. Additional oral sedation is administered to put the patient in a relaxed state, but the patient is still conscious (many patients have stated they felt like they slept through treatment).
Will I be able to return to work?
Your dentist will advise you to return home to rest for the duration of the day. You will be somewhat groggy for several hours so having someone to stay with you for a few hours is recommended. You should be able to resume your normal activities the following day.
Sedation dentistry is the answer for many patients that would not be able to complete needed treatment any other way. If you’re interested in our sedation options, contact our office to discuss your next appointment and how sedation can help you!