Avoiding pain is top of the list for most of us. Sedation dentistry has made it easier and more comfortable for a chicken like me to get in the chair. People generally do not like going to dentists. I know, hard to believe. My experience with dentistry at a young age included being backhanded across the face by my dentist because of my fears. It was decades before I would even think about a dental trip. I went to great lengths later in life to avoid ever being in a dental chair again. It was only when the pain became too much (and the smell of my breath would have killed a horse) that I decided to buck it up and go again. After making several of my dentists' Mercedes payments for his time, my teeth are back in reasonable shape. Sedation dentistry was the response to trauma and fear like mine.
Here's what you need to know.
Sedation dentistry generally operates in the top top levels of sedation. There are a number of different levels of sedation (minimal, moderate, and deep sedation) depending on the need for pain relief and amount of work done.
The drugs are given either orally, intravenously, or through inhalation.
More work can be done at one sitting, allowing for fewer dental visits.
The cost of sedation dentistry may not be covered in all cases by your insurance company. Depending on your medical history, you can be disqualified from being a candidate for sedation dentistry
As with any medical procedure, there is a degree of personal risk you need to know.
There are terms you may read concerning sedation dentistry. Here are some definitions:
Sleep Dentistry is an older term describing how a patient perceives their sedation treatment. The patient does not sleep during the visit, but it felt as if they were asleep since the memory of the appointment is missing. This term, sleep dentistry, is inaccurate. It may, however, be applied to General Anesthesia.
Anxiety free Dentistry is relaxation. Patients are calm and relaxed in this level of sedation. Patients perceive as if hours go by in minutes due to the sedative effects of the medication.
Sedation Dentistry is the comprehensive term that refers to the use of medication to induce a comfortable dental experience. Patient may take medication before treatment as well as during treatment to maintain comfort levels.
Here are some questions to ask before you sit in the dentist chair:
Experience of the dental staff in administering these sedation drugs
Procedure for medical emergency (how close is the nearest hospital)
Is the dentist or staff members of DOCS (Dental Organization for Conscious Sedation)?
What kind of training has the staff completed?
Sedation dentistry is a safe and effective way to get needed dental work accomplished.