Visiting the dentist often comes with various concerns, particularly associated with pain and sensitivity. These anxieties, while understandable, should not stop anyone from keeping up with their dental health. Most misgivings about operations and procedures can be addressed with sedation. Before opting for sedation for an individual or their child, it is important that they understand the reasoning and risks behind the option.
For many, sedatives are chosen to help ease anxieties and fears about an operation. Some may have particularly sensitive teeth, others may have genuine fears they find hard to overcome, and others still may be visiting for the first time. Children, in particular, may be given a mild sedative to help introduce them to the concept of going to the dentist. There are also cases of larger operations, which can be quite painful or rigorous where a patient may opt for sedation.
Most are familiar with nitrous oxide, the gas administered to patients during a dental visit. The gas, along with some weaker pills, is known as minor sedatives. Both are safe for children and are a reliable way to help quell anxieties. Most professionals are licensed to prescribe minor sedation, and a growing number are equipped to legally use slightly stronger, moderate forms of these relaxers.
For more thorough operations that do cause pain, patients may choose to opt for a heavy sedative. These anesthesias can place a patient completely under for the duration of the operation. Like minor sedatives, anesthesia is also safe for children. Only dentists who have completed the Commission on Dental Accreditation program are licensed to use deep sedation. These CODA certified professionals are trained to administer the drugs in safe doses to both children and adults.
There are factors and risks to consider before opting for sedation. Some moderate and deep sedatives can sometimes have lingering effects such as TMJ after an operation. Patients who experience this phenomenon should contact their doctor immediately. It is also important for patients to inform their doctor of their medical history. Those with sleep apnea or obesity are susceptible to certain breathing risks under doses of heavy drugs. In the same fashion, patients should also familiarize themselves with their dentist and his or her credentials. Establishing trust between patient and medical professional is a key part of responsibly opting for sedation.