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A Sedation Dentist Can Make More Than Your Mouth Feel Better

Sep 14, 2008
A sedation dentist can help ease the anxiety that comes with having dental work done. The idea of spending an afternoon at the dentists office is one that usually sends patients running for the nearest available hiding spot. People just arent real keen on the idea of getting teeth drilled, and for many, this fear causes them to postpone their dental appointments over and over again. Some people, like children for example, have a natural fear of the dentist, while there are others whose fear stems from a traumatic dental experience that happened in their past. The sedation dentist is well aware of these fears, and when a patient is nervous and anxious, they sometimes can become downright uncooperative or hard to work with, making the dental appointment just as difficult for the dentist as it is for the patient.

While the use of anesthesia to have people sleep through invasive procedures is not a new one, using it for dental work is a comparatively new phenomenon. When a patient goes in for surgery, like an appendectomy, the patient is put completely to sleep with the anesthesia, and wake up when the procedure is all over. The difference with dentistry, though, is that patients are usually not completely asleep, but are put into a relaxed, calm, sleep like state. Being non coherent while a procedure is being performed is the perfect solution for anyone who is severely apprehensive about sitting in the dentists chair, listening to the sound of their teeth being drilled into bits. The benefits of sedation for dentistry are many, and the sedation dentist regularly uses some form of sedation with almost all non routine procedures.

The most obvious benefit of being semi conscious when at the dentists office is the significant decrease of apprehension and anxiety felt by the patient. There are separate pain management treatments to take away pain, since the sedation doesnt do that. With sedation, the pain is not taken away, but the anxiety is, which can always make things worse than they should be. There are several different methods of administering sedation to patients, and it depends on each patient as to which method the dentist will use. The options for anesthesia are many, including conscious sedation using oral sedatives, having the patient inhale nitrous oxide, sedation through an intravenous line (IV), and general anesthesia.

The sedation dentist gives oral sedatives to the patient either the night before a procedure or up to a half an hour before it. It is important to realize that these oral sedatives do not provide pain relief, and are meant to relieve stress and anxiety, so anesthetic for the pain must be used in addition to the oral sedative. Inhaling nitrous oxide, or laughing gas, enhances a persons state of relaxation to calm down jittery nerves. Nitrous Oxide is one of the most popular sedation techniques. IV sedatives, like oral sedatives, do not provide pain relief, but can take effect quickly for the patient. Finally, general anesthesia is available to those of us who are sufferers of true dental phobias or who require substantial procedures and complex oral surgeries, completely putting the leery patient to sleep.
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