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What to Expect During a Sedation Dentistry Appointment

What to Expect During a Sedation Dentistry Appointment
You have an appointment with the dentist and you are going to be treated by sedation dentistry. If you don't know what it is going to be like, refer to this post to know about it.
Priyanka Kosta Sonkushre
Last Updated: Apr 9, 2018
Many people are scared of visiting the dentist. Even I am, I admit. The fear of going for a dental checkup has always made me nervous and I always find some way or the other to avoid it. Most of the time, I look for home remedies that can cure my dental problem, but, this is not always possible. There are several kinds of dental problems that can happen to an individual. Some can be treated at home while some need thorough dental checkup and treatment. This is the time when people like me find it extremely challenging to face a dentist. Earlier, there was no other option except going for the treatment or bearing with the problem, if your fear does not allow you to go for it. But now, with the advent of new dentistry techniques, dentists have found out a way to solve this kind of problem in patients who dread dental treatments. Sedation dentistry is the way out.
What is Sedation Dentistry?
Patient on dentist chair
This form of dentistry uses medications that are administered orally to patients before carrying out dental procedures so that the patient is delivered to a sleeping state. In a comfortable state of sleep, the patient does not realize that dental procedures are carried out thereby, making their treatment comfortable and easy.
Patients who are phobic to dental visits, have high gag reflex, have extremely sensitive teeth or have had traumatic dental experiences in the past are good candidates for sedation dentistry, as they are the individuals who mostly tend to avoid dental treatments.

Some dentists also provide sedation by the use of laughing gas or nitrous oxide. Just a small amount of gas is required to be inhaled to reach to a state of complete relaxation, where the patient does not feel anything and is extremely relaxed, but is able to respond. The oral pill or the gas does not leave the patient unconscious. If a patient is administered nitrous oxide gas, he comes back to the normal state within some time after the gas is turned off. However, patients taking oral sedation medication are under its effect for 6-8 hours. When the effect of the medication is reduced, the patient can regain normal activity. Sometimes, sedating medication is given through intravenous route wherein, it is directly administered into the bloodstream to produce quick anesthesia.
What to Expect at Your Sedation Dentistry Appointment?
Dentist and patient
The initial appointment with the dentist helps him analyze the dental problem the person is suffering from. He also determines whether the patient is fit for sedation dentistry or not. He will discuss the medical and personal history of the patient and determine which form of sedation will be suitable for the patient. He can either choose oral medication, intravenous sedation or gas inhalation, as a sedation producing agent depending on individual patient needs. The first appointment also includes a series of X-rays and tests that will be conducted to determine the dental problem and its severity.

For the second appointment when the procedure will be actually carried out, the dentist advises the patient to wear comfortable clothes while coming for the dental treatment. He also insists that a family member, close relative or friend accompanies the patient at the clinic so as to provide the necessary help before and after treatment. When the patient and his escort reach the clinic, they are escorted to a comfortable room which is equipped with television, magazines, radio etc., so that the patient can relax and feel comfortable. After the patient is given sufficient time to relax, the dentist takes him to a treatment room.

In the treatment room, the dentist measures the pulse, blood pressure and blood oxygen levels of the patient. These things are monitored all along the procedure to keep a check on significant alternations in the body. Once the vital parameters are examined, the sedative is administered to the patient. When he reaches a proper sedation level, a local anesthetic is given to numb the area to be treated. The dental procedure is then carried out while the patient remains unaware of it. After the complete procedure is done, the patient is shifted to a comfortable bed and time is given so that the effect of sedation is nullified. When the patient is completely conscious and is capable to walk comfortably, after-treatment instructions are given and he is allowed to go home along with his escort. The patient needs to take rest for one day before beginning regular activities.

It is estimated that almost 30 million people in the United States skip going to the dentist simply because they are afraid of the whole idea of dental treatment. But believe me, with the advent of sedation dentistry, it has become a lot more comfortable and easier for people like me who are panic-stricken with the thought of visiting a dentist. So, the next time you have a toothache, don't wait for the condition to get severe. Go to your dentist and your doc will work it out for you. Keep smiling!