There aren’t many people who look forward to dental procedures. Some people with high dental anxiety may even want to be sedated during their dentist’s office visit. Luckily, for those that want or need it, sedation dentistry is available at most offices. But is sedation dentistry safe?
Sedation dentistry is a dental practice that involves the use of medication to help patients relax and remain calm during dental procedures. It is particularly beneficial for individuals who experience dental anxiety or fear, have a low pain threshold, have a sensitive gag reflex, or require extensive dental work.
There are many forms of sedation, such as oral sedation (taking medication by mouth), inhalation sedation (using nitrous oxide, also known as laughing gas), IV sedation (also known as intravenous sedation, administered through a vein), or general anesthesia (rendering the patient completely unconscious).
The level of sedation can vary, ranging from mild relaxation to deep sedation, depending on the patient’s needs and the complexity of the procedure. It allows dentists to perform necessary dental treatments while ensuring the patient’s comfort and reducing any potential pain or anxiety. However, it’s important to consult with a qualified dentist to determine if sedation dentistry is suitable for your specific situation. Conscious sedation methods such as local anesthesia may also be available.
When administered by a trained and experienced dental professional, sedation dentistry is generally considered safe. However, like any medical procedure, there are potential risks and side effects associated with sedation. It is crucial to discuss your medical history, current medications, and any concerns with your dentist before undergoing sedation.
The safety of sedation dentistry depends on various factors, including the type and dosage of medication used, your overall health, and how well you follow pre- and post-operative instructions. Dentists who offer sedation dentistry should have the necessary qualifications, training, and equipment to monitor patients throughout the procedure and handle any potential complications.
The anesthesiologist will monitor your vital signs, such as your heart rate, throughout your dental appointment to make sure that you are being properly sedated.
Common side effects of sleep dentistry are nausea, dry mouth, headache, drowsiness, sore throat, and memory loss. If you have a dental phobia, make sure to check with your doctor at your next dental visit to make sure that the use of sedation is right for you. These side effects come from the anesthetics used to put you to sleep in the dentist’s chair during the procedure.
You can ask your dentist which sedation options they have available from minimal sedation to moderate sedation.
Some services, like teeth cleanings and getting fitted for braces (or invisible braces like Invisalign), may be mild enough for a person to not need dental sedation. However, some patients may want to be sedated for more invasive dental procedures such as root canals, dental implants, tooth extractions, or for taking care of serious oral medical conditions.
Before undergoing sedation, your dentist will conduct a thorough evaluation of your medical history and may request additional tests or consult with other healthcare professionals to ensure your safety. They will also provide you with detailed instructions for pre-sedation preparations and post-treatment care.
It is important to openly communicate with your dentist, disclose any health concerns or medications you are taking, and follow their instructions carefully. This will help ensure a safe and successful sedation dentistry experience.
People with allergies, certain medical issues (such as respiratory issues, high blood pressure, heart problems, sleep apnea, or liver/kidney disease), that take certain medications, or are pregnant may not be a good candidate for dental sedation.
If you’re ready to move towards getting dental work for yourself, contact us to set up a consultation. Dr. Lovik Mirzaeian’s office is here to help answer any questions you have. We put your comfort and smile first, and we are dedicated to giving you top-notch dental care. Get ready to show off your perfect smile!