Many people go to the dentist out of necessity – not prevention. Because of this, dentists have a hard time keeping up with the number of patients needing care. Some options can help patients cope with the fear of pain: what is sedation dentistry?
Understanding the process
The word sedation refers to a patient’s relief of any nervousness and anxiety that may prevent the completion of a dental procedure. Sedation is achieved by sending the person into a state of pleasant sleepiness while their procedure is performed. The depth of this induced sleep is what differentiates the different types of sedation from one another.
Experts explain conscious sedation as a state of light sleep in which the patient is treated. However, the individual is alert enough to talk and understand the dentist and staff. This option does not cause significant changes in cardiac or respiratory function and is the ideal type of sedation when it comes to performing dental treatments.
When is conscious sedation used?
The emergence of specific and very safe drugs (ultra-short half-life benzodiazepines) has made conscious sedation available to all fields of medicine and surgery. Currently, endoscopic explorations of the digestive system are not performed without being sedated. The same thing is happening, little by little, with dentistry and oral surgery.
When is sedation dentistry used?
Conscious sedation is used in procedures that may involve several areas of the mouth and those that may become uncomfortable or painful for the patient. A typical case is the treatments that include the extraction of several teeth, the simultaneous insertion of implants, and the placement of a temporarily fixed prosthesis. It is also great for cases of mucogingival plastic surgery or bone grafts.
In general, it can be used for any intervention or long-term dental treatment or patients with significant anxiety about oral treatments. Another important indication is for patients with odontophobia (fear of the dentist), which is becoming more frequent.
Is there any risk to the patient?
The rate of complications resulting from sedation is extremely low. Thousands of patients undergo a medical or surgical procedure every day while being under sedation. To learn more, contact your local dental clinic today.