A sedation dentist is available at Quality Family Dentistry in Timonium and the surrounding area. If you need dental work but feel anxious about what it entails, discuss how sedation can address your concerns. A qualified dentist can inform you about various options and make recommendations based on your concerns and medical history. Call us at (410) 705-6015 to schedule an appointment.
A sedation dentist administers medicine that helps patients relax during the procedure. For most patients, this comes in addition to the usual pain relief, or an anesthetic, which is typically administered through an injection to the affected area. Sedation has the added effect of reducing patient anxiety and awareness of the details of a procedure.
WebMD explains that sedation for dental procedures can be mild, moderate, or deep. With mild sedation, most patients remain fairly alert but feel relaxed. Moderate sedation induces a deeper state of relaxation; patients undergoing it may not remember much of the procedure. Patients under deep sedation are still conscious but become drowsy and detached from their surroundings.
There are several types of medications potentially used in dental sedation. They can be given as a pill or administered intravenously. For minimal sedation, patients may receive gas inhaled through a mask. This type of sedation wears off quickly. The type of sedative used is determined by the patient’s treatment, their tolerance, and conditions or illnesses they may have.
Local anesthesia is typically administered for minor restorative procedures such as cavity fillings, tooth extractions, root canal treatments, dental crown placement, and scaling and root planing. General anesthesia, usually inhaled or administered through an IV, is used for more severe procedures. It is commonly used for bone grafts, corrective jaw surgery, general tooth extractions, oral cancer surgery, sleep apnea surgery, cosmetic dental procedures, and cleft lip/palate surgery.
In a study published by the Journal of Dental Hygiene, 19% of the 308 study participants suffered from moderate to high dental anxiety. A sizable part of this group even reported missing appointments because of dental fear. Sedation is one of the effective ways dentists have found to help patients get the care they need. Patients who have been avoiding necessary dental work due to anxiety can find sedation very helpful.
In addition to patients who suffer from nervousness, candidates for sedation may include those who have difficulty sitting for a long time. Some dental procedures necessitate remaining in the chair for a long time with minimal movement. Various physical and mental conditions can make this extremely difficult for some. Other issues where sedation can help include a strong gag reflex or a low pain threshold.
Sedation can help patients get through most types of dental procedures. Preparation is key to making things go smoothly. Taking the following steps can help patients get the dental care they need with minimal pain and anxiety:
Ask about available sedation types: A sedation dentist may use several types of medication. Different dosages can also control the strength of the sedation. Patients should also tell the dentist about their preferences; for example, a patient who dislikes needles may benefit from oral or inhaled sedation instead of having an IV.
Review medical history, including allergies and medications: Some medical conditions or medications may interact negatively with some sedation components. It is important for the dentist to have all relevant information in order to administer sedation properly. Patients whose medical history makes some types of sedation contraindicated can still benefit from other formulations.
Go over the information with the sedation dentist: A sedation dentist typically provides detailed instructions on how to prepare for a procedure under sedation and what to do afterward. It is important to follow these recommendations correctly for optimal comfort and safety. Be sure to ask questions if any instructions are unclear.
Make arrangements for getting home: Patients undergoing most types of sedation are advised to arrange for a ride home. The effects of sedation can linger for some time and can include drowsiness or dizziness. With certain types, it may be safe for the patient to go home on their own shortly after the procedure. The California Dental Association notes that the mild effects of nitrous oxide typically last for about 15 minutes after the procedure.
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A. Sedation can help with most dental procedures, including fillings. Based on the length of the procedure and other factors, a dentist can recommend an optimal approach for individual patients. Even routine procedures can cause anxiety for some, so sedation is a great option for allaying it.
A. Generally, dentists recommend avoiding solid foods and any dairy for at least six hours before the appointment. One should stop drinking liquids at least two hours prior to the procedure. However, the instructions for a specific patient may differ based on the type of sedation and other factors, so it is important to ask the dentist.
A. Dentists determine the optimally safe dosage and type of sedation for each patient. There are typically no lasting side effects. However, patients may feel dizzy, drowsy, or nauseous for up to four hours after the procedure. These effects can vary.
A. It is advisable to wear loose, comfortable clothing. Dressing in layers can help patients stay warm, as body temperature can drop under sedation. Dentists recommend avoiding large amounts of accessories.
A. In most cases, one should take medications as usual. It is important to let the dentist know about all medications you take. The dentist can then let you know if any changes are necessary on the day of the procedure.
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