Friday, January 27, 2012

What Is Sedation Dentistry?

Sedation Dentistry is defined as the use of anesthesia during a dental treatment that usually puts the patient on a sleep-like state. This is frequently used in dental procedures that require the patient to stay in the treatment chair for quite some time.

Patients with phobias related to dentistry and children who cannot stay still are the ones who undergo sedation. Sedation dentistry does not necessarily mean that the patients are asleep or unconscious. It is only used to help the patients relax and reduce their anxiety. Since the patients are in a sleep-like state, the pain that is felt is very minimal and they cannot sometimes remember what happened during the dental procedure. Since Sedation Dentistry will keep the patient still for a long time, the dentist can work freely and will no longer have to worry about the patient moving every now and then. With this, the outcome of the operation is usually successful and fewer trips to the dentist will be needed afterwards.

There are three types of Sedation Dentistry that are applied by the dentist and this will depend on the level of anxiety of the patient. These are the following:

Minimal Sedation - In this level of sedation, the patient feels relaxed and is less anxious. He is conscious and can still respond to his environment.

Moderate Sedation - The patient feels even more relaxed and can only respond to a stronger stimulus.

Deep Sedation - The patient is in a sleep-like state and is usually unconscious. He will have no memories of what has happened while he was sedated.

There are three primary ways on which Sedation Dentistry can be administered.

Enteral Conscious Sedation or Oral Sedation - the patient is asked to ingest the sedative usually in the form of a pill or tablet. Few of the advantages of this method are that it is easy to administer, inexpensive, and works for most patients. However, the oral sedation has different levels of effect on people and this cannot be easily changed.

Inhalation Conscious Sedation - a combination of nitrous oxide and oxygen, also called laughing gas, is inhaled by the patient. This sedation method is the most used in the US. The dentist will have control on the level of sedation. This is used for moderate anxiety and has an almost instant effect on the patient. Unfortunately, this method is not applicable for people with respiratory problems such as asthma.

IV Sedation or Deep Conscious Sedation - This is only administered by dental surgeons and specially trained dentists. With this kind of sedation, the medicine is sent to the blood stream directly and the effects are instant. This method is not commonly used dental clinics because only qualified and trained dentists are allowed to do this. The patient will have no recollection of what will happen while under sedation.

With these being said, Sedation Dentistry is a safe alternative to patients who have dental phobia and skip their dental appointments because of fear. Patients who are afraid of dental procedures and the pain the go with them need not to be worried anymore because Sedation Dentistry will help them go through the operation without feeling anything.

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