Regular dentist visits where the patient’s teeth are cleaned and a thorough dental exam is performed can be difficult for some patients who just do not like going to the dentist or who suffer from dental phobia or some other medical issue that makes it difficult to tolerate regular dental care. Often, by skipping these visits, serious dental problems occur, which are often made worse because of the fear of what the dentist will find. This results in more pain and discomfort as the problem steadily gets worse and the fear of what the dentist will find grows. Sedation dentistry is recommended to any patient that has a fear of the dentist, a dental phobia or any other condition that prevents them from getting good dental care.
Sedation dentistry ismost commonly practiced in two forms, which are often used together to treat patients that are fearful of a dentist visit or a dental procedure. In both means, the patient is breathing on their own while they are sedated. The first means of sedation is the use of nitrous oxide as “laughing gas” as it is commonly known. The gas, which is colorless and odorless, is inhaled and gives the patient a relaxed or euphoric feeling. The second common means of sedation is the use of oral sedation medications, which often leave the patient very relaxed, while in a conscious or semi-conscious state. It is important to remember that these two means of sedation are used in conjunction with other anesthetics (injections into the gums) when performing any procedure that could result in the patient’s pain or discomfort. Sedation is not used to control pain, just anxiety!
In addition to these common sedation dentistry techniques, a few dentists specialize in sedation dentistry using intravenous conscious sedation and even full, unconscious sedation which is usually performed in a hospital or surgical suite. This type of sedation is referred to as sleep-sedation or hospital sedation dentistry.
Sedation is a great option for patients in fear of having a necessary dental procedure done. Do not let a fear of the dentist cause major dental problems!
Posted on behalf of David Kurtzman
Getting good dental care to help maintain oral health is vitally important for children and individuals with developmental disabilities such as autism spectrum disorders, cerebral palsy, Down’s syndrome, and other special needs patients. These patients are generally prone to serious tooth development issues, gum disease, periodontitis, and bite problems. Also, their daily oral health care is compromised by poor motor skills, intellectual impairment, and intolerance for dental care by caregivers.
The result is that these special needs patients are usually in desperate need of regular dental care, yet they are usually unable to tolerate receiving dental care in a traditional dental office. They are either unwilling or unable to sit still in a dental chair for more than a few minutes. Most dental offices lack the experience and patience needed to treat special needs patients and the patient typically ends up anxious and upset.
Hospital dentistry is a specialized area of dental practice that is well suited for providing safe, anxiety free and painless dentistry to special needs patients. Specially trained dentists provide quality dental care to patients under general anesthesia. These procedures are carried out in a hospital operating room or surgical suite with the assistance of surgical nurses and a qualified anesthesiologist.
With the patient fully sedated, the dentist can perform any type of procedure from routine cleanings to fillings, cavities, extractions, orthodontics, and deep cleanings. The patient experiences no anxiety or pain during the procedure and afterward has no memory of it. Several procedures can be performed during a single visit which reduces the number of visits to the dentist. Hospital sleep dentistry is an excellent way for special needs patients to get the dental care they so urgently need.
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