If the thought visiting your dentist sends a chill down your spine, then you are not alone. Many Americans would rather prefer to bear the agony of dental pain rather than visiting their dentist. According to the Dental Organization for Conscious Sedation (DOCS Education), about 30% of dental patients avoid treatment due to fear of pain, and about 93 million US citizens live with some degree of dental phobia. If you’re having a similar kind of dental phobia, then you can definitely benefit from sedation dentistry.
What is Sedation Dentistry?
Sedation dentistry involves the use of anti-anxiety medication to make patients relaxed comfortable during dental procedures. It is also known as “sleep dentistry”. However, this name is not entirely accurate, as patients who are treated under sedation dentistry remain awake throughout their treatment and they can respond to external stimuli.
Who can Benefit from Sedation?
Not all patients may need to be treated under sedation. At Edge Dental, we recommend sedation dentistry in the following cases:
- Uncooperative and Anxious Patients – patients who are not cooperative, especially children, can benefit from dental treatment under sedation.
- Physically or Mentally Challenged Patients – It also becomes easier to dentists to perform procedure disabled patients when they are under sedation.
- Multiple or Long Procedures – in case you need to undergo multiple, or lengthy dental procedures, then we choose to perform these procedures while you are sedated.
However, it must be remembered that you should in perfect health to become an eligible candidate for sedation. You may need to get clearance from your physician before you undergo this procedure.
What are the Different Levels of Sedation?
- Minimal – in this, you will be fully conscious and awake, but you feel relaxed and comfortable throughout the procedure.
- Moderate – in moderate sedation, you will slur your words and you won’t remember much about the procedure.
- Deep – technically, you will be at the edge of sleep and consciousness. However, your dentist can still wake you up with a verbal command.
- General Anesthesia – in this type of sedation, you will be in deep sleep and completely unconscious.
What types of Sedation are Used in Dentistry?
Depending upon the required level of consciousness, and the expected duration of your procedure, we use the following forms of sedation at Edge Dental:
- Inhalation Sedation – this is generally reserved for patients who are mildly apprehensive or phobic. We will ask you to breath through a gas mask which has a supply of oxygen and nitrous oxide. Nitrous oxide, also known as the laughing gas, will make you conscious enough to be aware of your surroundings, but you will feel relaxed. Another advantage of nitrous oxide is that it also provides a pain-relieving effect. The onset of sedation with inhalation is very rapid, and it quickly wears away as soon as supply of the gas is discontinued. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), nitrous oxide can be effectively used for sedation and pain reduction during dental procedures. The cost of inhalation sedation can vary between $50-60.
- Oral Sedation – it is also known as oral conscious sedation. in this, oral medication is given to patients for administering mild to moderate sedation. For oral sedation, we will give you oral anti-anxiety medication to take the night before your appointment, and one dosage on the day of your appointment. The level of your consciousness will depend on the dosage of the prescribed medicine.
- Intravenous Sedation – this is given to provide a moderate level of sedation, which is required in dental procedures which may require extensive time to complete or when multiple procedures have been planned. The effects of intravenous sedation tend to last for many hours. Therefore, patients are advised not to drive back by themselves. The cost of intravenous sedation can vary between $300-350 per hour.
- General Anesthesia – a general anesthesia is administered when there is a need for deep sedation. Patients do not remain conscious during the procedure. Also, they need to be accompanied by a family member or loved one back home, as the effect of general anesthesia tend to last for many hours after the operation. Patients should also not go to work until the effect of anesthesia wears off. Patients may also be kept in recovery room after general anesthesia, before they can be allowed to go home.
You must remember that sedation is only helpful in relieving your anxiety. To make you pain-free, we will also have to administer local anesthesia, except for inhalation and general anesthesia.
Sedation at Edge Dental
Not every dentist is trained or authorized to perform dental procedures under sedation. The American Dental Association (ADA) has set standards for each state in the US regarding the minimum training and experience required by dentists for becoming eligible to perform sedation dentistry.
Is Sedation Dentistry Safe?
The simple answer is yes. Dental treatment under sedation is very safe as long as it is being performed by an experienced and licensed dentist who is following all guidelines of the regulatory authorities. At Edge Dental, our dentists are specially trained and experienced in providing high-quality dental care under sedation. We also have an anesthetist at our practice who will monitor your vital signs during the operation.
You don’t have to live with the fear of dental treatment. Sedation dentistry now allows you to undergo dental treatment in a comfortable, calm and relaxed environment. And the best thing about sedation is that you won’t have any memory of what happened during your treatment. So, say goodbye to your dental worries and take the first step towards an excellent dental health and overall wellbeing. So, visit us today at Edge Dental, and let us take care of all your dental problems.