Posts for tag: sedation dentistry nashville

Question: Is Dental Sedation Safe and Is it for everyone?


Answer: Yes and no. Dental Sedation is very safe and most of the time very predictable in the response you will get. While there are multiple forms of providing sedation such oral, IV, IM, IN, inhalation, some forms are safer than others. The type of sedation to be used is tailored to the patient that desires it as well as fitting the comfort level of the provider.


For example, IV sedation is an excellent treatment for adults that have a great deal of anxiety yet not recommended in treatment for children.


Why is this?


Determining the proper type of sedation is not just evaluating the medical history of the patient, but evaluating previous dental experiences, assessing the compliance or willingness of the patient to forego treatment, and ensuring the patient has been educated about what is being done, why and how.


Back to IV sedation, children are not candidates for IV due to their inability to understand what is going on and they are less likely to be compliant to the situation. Nitrous oxide (laughing gas) or oral sedation are better options for the child because of their noninvasive nature.


The majority of patients I encounter in my practice are good candidates for sedation dentistry. The more important question is what kind of sedation do they need and what will help them achieve the experience they desire. The answer to this lies in the evaluation by the dentist. Spend time with your dentist, discussing your fears, past experiences, medical history, family history as well as your goals and expectations. The combination of all of these will establish whether or not you are a candidate for sedation!





Question: What is oral sedation and how does it help with dentistry?


Answer: Oral Sedation involves the use of oral medications in the form of a pill/tablet to relieve mild to moderate anxiety. The most commonly prescribed medications are Halcion, Ativan and Valium, all of which produce a high level of drowsiness but not a complete sleep. The medicine is generally administered one hour prior to treatment but sometimes is also administered the night before the dental appointment as well. You will, however, remain awake and alert throughout your dental treatment and be able to breathe on your own without the fear and anxiety you might other- wise experience. One downfall to oral sedation is that since every patient exhibits different levels of tolerance to drugs and different digestion times, there is no way to measure how much medication has been directly absorbed into the stomach. It is not effective or safe to try to make the patient more relaxed by giving more pills if the initial dose was not effective to relieve the patient's anxiety. Depending on the patient and the treatment being provided, sometimes laughing gas is used in conjunction with oral sedation to help assist with anxiety and pain control. Oral sedation is typically much more effective than laughing gas alone, but not nearly as effective as IV sedation or general anesthesia.

Can you explain in more detail the types of sedation and what is right for me?


I would encourage you go to my sedation tab to read further regarding sedation. Bottom line is there are many different options to help make you more relaxed but the recommended choice is based on your past experiences, the work that needs to be done as well as the amount of work to be done, your medical history. More patients fear going to the dentist because of a bad experience or because they simply don't understand.


Having said that, picking a dentist just because "he can sedate you" is not enough. When looking for a dentist, you need to ask yourself several questions:


Does he understand my fears and concerns and did he offer me solutions?

Does he have up to date equipment and properly trained staff?

Did he explain everything in a manner that you understand...that is can you make an educated decision based on what he has advised you on?

Was he gentle? If you had a cleaning, was the hygienist gentle?

Was the front desk gentle and receptive to your needs?


I believe with a friendly staff and a dentist who takes the time to explain your problems as well as what caused them, offer solutions and alternatives along with the pros and cons, is just as important for helping with anxiety and fear.