Sedation Dentistry in CA: An Anti-Anxiety Dental Technique
Does the mere thought of going to the dentist make your heart race? You are not alone. According to a study, the prevalence of dental anxiety among 473 patients is 58.8 percent. Based on dental anxiety severity, respective percentages of 27.2, 19.1, and 12.5 were found to be moderate, high, and extreme.
If you are one of the people who would rather endure a toothache than step foot in a dentist’s office, sedation dentistry may reduce some of your restlessness.
What Is Sedation Dentistry?
Sedation dentistry provides a peaceful effect on those who suffer from dental anxiety. Sedation is the process of helping patients relax during dental procedures like crown restorations, smile makeovers, or simple teeth cleaning. How dentists use the medication depends on the severity of one’s fear. Patients are awake in most cases, except for those who are under general anesthesia.
What Are the Types of Sedation in Dentistry?
Our dentists at Cunning Dental Group are specially trained in administering different levels of sedation. The types of sedation include:
1. IV moderate sedation
In this method, you will receive the sedative drug through a vein. Some people become groggy within a few minutes after administering the medication. IV moderate sedation enables a dentist to adjust the level of sedation as needed.
2. Inhaled minimal sedation
Also known as nitrous oxide or “laughing gas,” you inhale this sedative combined with oxygen through a mask placed over your nose. Like the previous sedative technique, a dentist can control the amount of sedation you receive. The gas tends to wear off quickly, which allows some patients to drive home after their dental procedure.
3. Minimal oral sedation
For low-dose sedation, a dentist may prescribe a pill. You must take the medication about an hour before the procedure. The pill takes effect by making you drowsy although you will still be awake throughout the procedure.
4. Moderate oral sedation
A dentist may prescribe a larger dose to produce moderate sedation. Some people experience almost immediate grogginess, sometimes even enough to fall asleep during the procedure. In most cases, a gentle shake is enough to wake the patient from moderate oral sedation.
5. Deep sedation and general anesthesia
In this method, you will receive prescription medications that will make you almost unconscious (half awake) or fall under a deep sleep during the procedure. Waking a patient under this level of sedation can be challenging until the effects wear off or are reversed with medication.
Regardless of which type of sedation a dentist recommends, you may also need a local anesthetic (numbing agent) at the site where the dentist will work in the mouth. Numbing medication takes its name from soothing any discomfort a procedure may cause.
It is important to know that sedation dentistry is not limited to adults. If your children have dental fears and anxiety, or if they refuse to cooperate during the visit — a dentist may recommend the use of sedatives. Laughing gas tends to be safe in young boys and girls. A humbler percentage of pediatric dentists are trained to give children specific doses of oral sedation.
When Is the Best Time to Use “Sleep for Dentistry”?
The following situations make it appropriate for a dentist to suggest or perform sedation dentistry:
- When the patient schedules a consultation over the phone and expresses his or her discomfort with dental visits.
- When the patient becomes restless after discussing the need for needles or dental injections.
- When the patient is on the verge of having (or has) a panic attack, cries, or shakes uncontrollably.
- The patient experiences overactive gag reflexes due to high stress and anxiety.
- The patient has dental phobia, a more serious condition than anxiety. Dental phobia often leaves people panic-stricken and terrified. If patients are scared of the dentist then you should request sedation dentistry.
Are You a Candidate for Sedation?
To ensure you are an eligible candidate for sedation, your dentist will conduct a complete medical history and physical assessment before proceeding.
Sedation is most suited for people with real fears that prevent them from going to the dentist. Your overall health, including your current physical and mental disposition, are vital factors in determining if you can undergo certain types of sedation. Some health conditions may require clearance from a physician. They include obstructive sleep apnea, obesity, hypertension, diabetes, cardiac disease, and respiratory diseases (asthma, bronchitis, and COPD).
In addition, sedation dentistry may also be appropriate for men and women who:
- Have low pain tolerance
- Have extremely sensitive teeth
- Require a large amount of dental work done
Can All Dentists Perform Sedation?
Cunning Dental Group in Montclair, San Diego and Irvine, CA specializes in sedation dentistry. The Dental Board of California requires dentists to hold permits to perform sedation techniques and general anesthesia.
In general, the majority of U.S. dentists can administer minimal sedation, including nitrous oxide and pills. An increasing number of dental care professionals can give moderate sedation. However, only a fraction of dentists who have completed the Commission on Dental Accreditation Program can practice more complex techniques, such as general anesthesia and deep sedation.
How Safe Is Sedation Dentistry?
Though sedation dentistry is usually safe when performed by an experienced dentist, there are disadvantages to keep in mind. Some people, such as those who have one or more of the conditions mentioned above, should speak with their doctor before undergoing sedation. Men and women who suffer from obesity, cardiac disease, and other specific ailments are more susceptible to developing complications from the anesthesia.
Work with the Best Dentists in California
Reducing complications and a possible lifetime of regret entails proactive measures. Take the time to research your dental care provider. Determine if he or she has the training, experience, and resources necessary to perform sedation. If you want to be a smart patient, only work with the best in the industry. Cunning Dental Group is the top sedation dentistry place in California with over 50 years of hands-on experience.