When Should You Ask About Sedation Dentistry?

Sedation dentistry is an option that many people have reservations about, even while others are quick to say, "Knock me out." The process, however, has a number of specific applications. If you're wondering whether you should talk with your doctor about sedation dentistry, these three situations represent the common cases where it is used.

Patients with Anxiety Issues

It's normal for people to be a bit tepid about having someone use drills and other sharp objects in their mouths, but it's also critical that a patient be able to self-regulate long enough for a procedure to be performed. Those who've already been diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorders should mention this during the intake process when going to a dentist. Many folks who don't normally have anxiety, though, may develop symptoms of what is considered dental anxiety.

Children and Fidgety Adults

You can easily imagine how important it is for a patient to avoid even small movements while they're at the dentist. Especially when dealing with kids, sedation dentistry can make the process significantly easier and faster to deal with. Some adults who have trouble staying still may also benefit from sedation.

Potentially Painful Procedures

In the process of studying a person's X-rays, a doctor might notice that a patient has very deep canals, suggests that there will be a lot of nerve pain from having work done. This can be especially challenging for a dentist when removing wisdom teeth or performing removals of large numbers of teeth. In order to keep extreme pain from making a procedure more difficult, a dentist may opt to sedate the patient.

Sedation Methods

There are three ways that are commonly employed to sedate patients: gas, oral pill and IV drip. Nitrous oxide gas is most commonly used with children, and a parental waiver will need to be signed for every application of the gas. This method is what we typically thinking of as sleep dentistry or knocking a person out.

Among adults, the prescription of an oral pill to be taken prior to a dental visit is the most common method. The pill in question is usually diazepam, more commonly known by the brand name Valium, but triazolam (Halcion) may also be prescribed. In general, these pills serve to calm the patient rather than putting them completely to sleep. IV drip options may be used for longer procedures, like massive extractions or oral surgeries.