Sedation dentistry is a great way to provide a more relaxing experience for people who tend to get anxious at the mere thought of sitting in a dentist’s chair.
Are you the type of person who would rather suffer through the torment of a toothache than set foot in a dentist’s office? Does the mere thought of undergoing any type of dental procedure cause you headaches? You are not alone. In fact, many people simply avoid going to the dentist’s altogether.
Fortunately, there is a solution that may convince even the most frightened of people to sit in the dentist’s chair and receive their much-needed treatment. It is called sedation dentistry and it can be used for all types of procedures including invasive operations and simple tooth cleaning.
What Is Sedation Dentistry?
Sedation dentistry means using pharmacological agents in order to calm and relax a patient prior to and during a dental appointment. The sedatives used exert their action by depressing the central nervous system. Patients are usually awake during the procedure, although there is one exception.
Levels of sedation:
- Minimal sedation – your anxiety is reduced, but you readily respond to verbal or physical stimulation
- Moderate sedation – you are even more relaxed, but you will respond to purposeful stimulation, although you may slur your words when speaking
- Deep sedation – you may not exhibit any signs of consciousness, but you may still be awakened
- General anesthesia – this is the aforementioned exception during which you will be completely unconscious
What Are the Benefits of Sedation Dentistry?
Sedation dentistry has become widely accepted because it offers a variety of benefits for both the patient and the dentist. For some people, the use of sedation dentistry is actually the only way that they can get the dental care they need and improve their dental health.
Sedation dentistry offers:
- Patient relaxation
- Increased comfort
- Patient co-operation
- Movement control
- Control of gag reflex
- Little or no memory of treatment
- Time saving as fewer appointments are needed
Is Sedation Dentistry Safe?
There is always some risk involved in getting anesthesia. However, when given by experienced dentists, it is usually perfectly safe. Certain people should talk to their doctor first before having sedation. These include obese people, pregnant women, and people with serious health conditions.
The following steps can be taken to ensure safety:
- Go over your medical history with your dentist and inform him of any medication that you might be taking. Your dentist will then be able to determine whether you are an appropriate candidate for sedation.
- Ask what dose of sedative is appropriate for your age and health.
- Make sure that your dentist is experienced in sedation procedures.
- Go over the form detailing the risks with your dentist. Ask questions if certain things seem unclear.
It is important to note that insurance companies generally do not cover the cost of sedation. However, certain non-intravenous sedation procedure codes may apply to your treatment. Sedation costs can range from a few hundred dollars to over a thousand. It depends on the type of sedation, insurance coverage, geographic location, and dentist.
Sedation dentistry can be used to provide an anxiety-free dental experience. It empowers individuals who are otherwise too afraid to go to the dentist to receive dental care. It greatly reduces the common apprehension known as dental phobia.