In recent times there has been a further development in dental procedures called sedation dentistry. In the past, the method most frequently used to make patients feel much more at ease was nitrous oxide. That’s not the case anymore as more and more options are offered. This is a good thing, since many people fear going to the dentist and it can lead to neglect and gum disease… and possible tooth loss. However patients may be reluctant to receive a strong drug in order to overcome fear of the dentist and end up doing nothing when they needed to get treatment. Having this option to quell fear could be literally tooth-saving for people. The question is: Is sedation dentistry right for you?

The best thing about sedation dentistry is that it gives the patient control of how they want to feel throughout the procedure. If they are merely a little nervous and want to be awake and yet relaxed during the procedure, they can simply take an oral sedative which will let them be able to be aware of what happens. Then there is nitrous oxide, which can take them somewhere between wakefulness and being unconscious. Finally, there is twilight sedation, which is usually provided via an IV. The patient will be in a state of sleep the entire time.

Patients who have had surgery of any kind that requires sedation are no doubt familiar with one of the post-sedation requirements: No driving afterwards. They must have someone drive them home since their reaction time and reflexes will be dulled. This is a safety issue for both the patient and the public, since it will reduce the chances of any accidents by a wide margin.

Sedation has other benefits for the patient. The dentist or surgeon can provide more treatment in one given time, especially when the patient is under sedation. There are no interruptions for rinsing, for example. They could do procedures on multiple teeth instead of having two or more separate visits.  That saves patients from having to make more than one trip to the dentist’s office for procedures.

Additional details to know is that sedation dentistry may cost more than having a local anesthetic. Also, while there are general guidelines to dosages, depending on the sedative used, it can affect people different ways due to the uniqueness of each one. For example, a patient may exit the procedure more groggy than anticipated.

What it all really comes down to is the patient making an informed decision about sedation dentistry. They should always remember that dental technology is constantly moving forward, with new ways to make what could be an uncomfortable procedure become almost as routine and painless as brushing your teeth. That includes ways to ensure that patients are able to be as comfortable as possible.

Dr. Dorothy Anasinski and her staff offer sedation dentistry at Dental Specialists of Niles. They will use it to make sure that you have the best dental experience possible. Be sure to ask them about it when you call them at 847-685-6686.