It is not uncommon for people to have anxiety over going to see the dentist. This is to be expected and a very common occurrence. It does not matter if they have been reassured or if they are merely coming in for dental cleanings or dental exam, they are nervous. Those same people can become incredibly uneasy when talking about invasive surgical procedures. They are prime candidates for sedation dentistry. This field of dentistry has exploded over the last few decades; for years, patients were told that they would simply have to deal with it but now, after years of consideration, there has been a shift in philosophy.
The patient's comfort is vital. It aids in a successful surgical procedure. It could be devastating in an invasive surgery for a patient to flinch or react in an unexpected way. There could be damage to other soft tissues in the mouth if this occurs.
What is Sedation?
By definition, sedation is when a patient has a lowered awareness of their environment. This is achieved in various ways and can help alleviate the nervousness and uneasiness about dental surgeries.
Options in Sedation
There are various levels of sedation in the practice of sedation dentistry.
Perhaps surprisingly, the overwhelming majority of procedures require only the lowest level of sedation. This would cover the vast majority of minor surgeries and reduce the discomfort patients experience. At this level of sedation, the patient is conscious and aware of their surroundings. Nitrous oxide is one type of minimal sedation.
The next level is known as moderate sedation which lowers the patients' awareness and level of consciousness even further. All cardiovascular functions continue and although the patient's consciousness is altered, they are able to react to commands and questions. Oral sedation is considered a minimal to moderate level of sedation.
The strongest level of sedation is only used for the most complex and involved surgeries. At this level, patients are unaware of their surroundings and completely unconscious. They cannot answer questions and do not react to external stimuli. General anesthesia is an example of deep sedation.
Before your procedure, you will talk to our oral surgeon about pre-anesthesia precautions that you will need to take. For example, we typically say that you should avoid food and drinks for certain lengths of time before sedation as the medication can make some people nauseous. This is usually either twelve or twenty-four hours. You should also coordinate to have someone drive you home and stay with you for the rest of your day after your procedure in order to monitor the effects. Some people are more sensitive to these types of medication, so someone will need to be there to ensure your safety.
Do I Need Sedation?
Part of sedation dentistry is in finding the best possible mix of sedation, so the patient does not feel any discomfort or pain and remains relaxed throughout the entire visit. It is not only for the patient's safety but for the success of the procedure. It limits the chance for accidents if patients react adversely during the surgery.
We strive to find the best working balance of comfort and general safety with our sedation specialists to provide to our patients. Those patients who are overly nervous about procedures or surgeries can contact us at (754) 764-0465 to find out more from our Everglades Family Dental office. We are ready to give you the answers you need to make an educated decision regarding sedation dentistry and your upcoming procedure.