Each year, hundreds of thousands of Americans suffer from various dental and oral ailments. However, only about half seek proper dental and oral treatment. This is mostly due to an increase in “dental phobia” an acute fear of visiting a dentist or receiving any type of dental treatment. The effects of dental phobia can last for years; it usually starts in childhood and lasts into a person’s adult years.
However, there is a new dental practice that has been proven to ease the fear of going to a dentist. Sedation dentistry is the use of pharmacological agents, such as a sedative pill or anesthesia, to completely relax and calm a patient before and during a dental procedure. Sedation dentistry has been proven to work effectively in reliving the patient’s fear, although there are some pros and cons of using this dental technique.
How Does Sedation Dentistry Work?
Sedation dentistry works by using different types of sedatives to relax the patient. Dentists commonly use sedative pills such as Halcion or Valium to ease the patients into a sleep-like state. The drugs are usually given to or taken by the anxious patient an hour before any dental work is done. The dentist may or may not sedate the patient during the procedure, and may also use a stronger sedative if necessary. The patient can still response to the dentist during the treatment, but they will be unable to feel any pain.
Is There Any Risk Involved?
While sedation dentistry is mostly safe for patients, there are a few risks associated with the drugs used. The American Dental Association has raised concerns about over sedating patients and causing them to become unconscious. Patients who undergo sedation dentistry should wait before driving home or should a driver with them, and dentist should monitor the patients heart rate and oxygen levels during the procedure.