For many people just the thought of a visit to the dentist immediately results in extreme anxiety. The fear of a painful experience often results in putting off simple dental issues until they require a more drastic course of action. But it doesn't have to be that way! Sedation dentistry, sometimes called sleep dentistry, allows those with dental anxiety to receive the care they need in a relaxed and comfortable environment. Time goes by very quickly. Most patients finish treatment feeling like they were only in the chair for a few minutes. Years of catch-up work can often be accomplished in one, relaxing visit.
To ensure patient safety sedation for dental treatment is administered by a medical anesthesiologist, and only after a comprehensive dental exam and a medical history review. You will be continually monitored during the entire procedure. Monitoring continues after treatment until the effects of the dental sedation have worn off and it is safe to leave. You will need to have someone with you to drive you home.
A variety of IV medications are given during the procedure to keep you nicely sedated. Ever have an endoscopy or similar procedure with sedation anesthesia? The same medications are used for dental procedures.
Sedation dentistry allows those with dental phobia or even just a little nervousness to receive the care necessary to correct existing issues, prevent further damage, and address conditions that may cause problems in the future. An added benefit is that more treatment can be finished during your visit when you are relaxed and free of anxiety. If you have a busy work schedule, sedation for dental treatment can often minimize the number of dental appointments you will need.
Sedation dentistry allows many patients who have avoided the dentist for years to receive necessary care comfortably and anxiety free!
Peter J. Samuels, DDS is a clinical instructor at the University of Maryland School of Dentistry and a local Gettysburg dentist.