What Is Sedation Dentistry?
Sedation dentistry is used by Dr. Khodai to provide a relaxing and anxiety-free experience for certain people who need dental treatment. It enables individuals that may be too afraid to go to the dentist to receive the dental care they need, while avoiding the common apprehension known as dental phobia.
According to to the Dental Organization for Conscious Sedation (DOCS Education), a professional dental organization dedicated to ensuring that patients receive safe, comfortable, and anxiety-free dental care, 30 percent of the United States avoids dental procedures or visits to the dentist’s office due to fear. This “dental phobia” can prevent people from receiving necessary routine dental care, and can be potentially compromising to the health and functionality of their mouth and smile.
Sedation is a process used by dental professionals to establish a relaxed, easy and calm state through the use of mild sedatives. Sedative drugs (tranquillizers, depressants, anti-anxiety medications, nitrous oxide, etc.) can be administered in a variety of ways. In the past, intravenous (IV) sedation — sedatives delivered via injection in the hand or arm— was predominantly used to sedate a dental patient.
IV sedation is both safe and very effective when administered by a trained professional. Today, however, sedation dentistry has evolved to be even more relaxing. Patients now have alternatives to the traditional methods of sedation: inhalation (nitrous oxide or “laughing gas”) and IVs, such as those offering a “no needle” approach.
Oral sedation is now the most common technique used in the United States and Canada to quell patient fears. This technique is easy and requires no needles. Oral sedation dentistry maintains a level of consciousness in the patient for safety and cooperation, while still creating such a comfortable experience that most patients do not even remember the visit to the office, and it is as if they slept through the treatment..
Note that sedation is different from anesthetic injections. Although some forms of sedation (such as nitrous oxide gas) may raise your threshold for pain, most dental treatments still require a local anesthetic injected in the mouth, even when sedation dentistry techniques are performed. This local anesthetic will temporarily block pain in the affected teeth and gum tissue. However, this injection will occur after you are already sedated and comfortable, so you most likely won’t be bothered by or even remember the sensation of having the injection.
Regardless of the type of sedation dentistry you receive, it is important to have a responsible caregiver, such as a friend or spouse, accompany you to the procedure (and drive you there if you must take oral medication before arriving for your appointment). Your caregiver will need to drive you home after the procedure is complete, and stay with you for an additional two to four hours at home.
Benefits of Sedation
One of the greatest benefits of sedation is that people often will feel like their dental procedure lasted only a few minutes, when in fact it might have taken hours to perform. Therefore, complex dental procedures such as extensive cosmetic corrections or delicate rebuilding procedures that normally require multiple visits can often be performed in fewer appointments.
If you are reluctant to positively change the appearance of your smile because you are afraid or anxious about undergoing long or complicated dental procedures, sedation dentistry can make you feel comfortable during the treatment process, and can help you achieve a smile you can be proud of.
Also, because sedation dentistry addresses some of the fears that keep people from going to the dentist on a regular basis, patients are more likely to receive recommended routine care that is necessary for proper dental health. As a result, they are less likely to neglect their oral health or allow oral health problems to build to the point when drastic dental treatments become necessary.
Dr. Neda Khodai and Sedation Dentistry
Dr. Neda Khodai at Barranca Dental Excellence is proud to offer a full range of sedation methods to help your visit to her office be a pleasant one. She understands that many patients are sensitive of dental procedures, and will help you receive the treatment you need without undue stress.
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If you want more information on Sedation Dentistry or need a dentist in Irvine, click below to get in touch with Barranca Dental Excellence.
Information in this article references or reprints portions of the work of Allison DiMatteo and Michael Silverman, DMD in their article “Sedation Dentistry”