Sleep Through My Appointment? Really?
Affordable sedation dentistry could be the answer to the anxiety people feel before and during their dental visit. Anxiety is a natural reaction to stressful events and, let's face it, going to the dentist is often considered stressful. There are different techniques people can use to deal with the stress of a visit, but one tool dentists have that can really make a difference is affordable sedation dentistry.
Do people really sleep?
Sedation dentistry covers a wide range of sedation techniques. While there could be some types of dental work that might require complete sedation of the patient most types of sedation only put the patient in a very relaxed, dreamlike state. There are four levels of sedation available to the patient.
- Minimal sedation is the lowest level of sedation and is used to make patients relaxed.
- Moderate sedation produces a much more relaxed level of relaxation that may cause a patient to slur their words.
- Deep sedation is the next level and the patient is still awake but close to unconsciousness.
- General anesthesia is the strongest level of sedation and it's when the patient loses complete consciousness. This is usually reserved for dental surgery.
How's It Done?
Sedation is usually accomplished by administering the medication as a gas, pill, or through an IV. Oral sedation is the most common form in the United States. How it's administered depends on the needs of the patient and the professional judgment of the dentist. A dentist is going to want to make the visit as comfortable for the patient as possible. However, the dentist also has to balance comfort with the need to do the dental work effectively and correctly. Generally speaking, the dentist and patient are usually able to come to an agreement on the appropriate level of sedation.
Sedation Dentistry Isn't Expensive
New techniques, material, and dental training have led to affordable sedation dentistry. People might automatically assume that something making their dental visit more accommodating and relaxing is automatically expensive. Since there are many different levels of sedation there are different levels of cost. Again this cost can be mitigated by the type of procedure being performed, the level of anxiety of the patient, and the overall health of the patient. The dentist will make suggestions based on an examination and speaking with the patient.
Is It For Everyone?
There are many reasons to consider using sedation dentistry. The most obvious one is to keep patients feeling relaxed during the procedure. Patients shouldn't think that sedation is only for major dental work. Sedation can be appropriate for common work such as cleanings, cavities and even routine exams. But sedation can also help with patients who have a bad gag reflex, problems controlling their body movement, or have a very low tolerance for pain. If a patient feels that they may have reaction brought on by anxiety or physical issues then speaking with the dentist is a must. Sedation could make the visit more comfortable for the patient and the dental staff.
Safety Is Key
Sedation dentistry isn't new and is a widely accepted medical procedure. Not every dentist is able to provide sedation dentistry. Dentists are required to have special training on top of their already extensive dental training in order to administer sedatives. They are tested and regulated by their respective state dental boards. A properly trained dentist will conduct a thorough medical evaluation of a patient and then discuss available options. A patient who is obese, taking medications, or suffers from sleep apnea should notify the dentist so he can take those factors into consideration.
Dental work is often avoided by patients because of the fear of pain and discomfort. That's a natural human reaction and understandable. But affordable sedation dentistry can help with the fear during the appointment and helps with the overall health of the patient. Good dental care is just as important to a health care plan as any other component. Patients should consult with their dentists to see if sedation is an option for them so they don't neglect a vital part of their health care.