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Is Sedation Dentistry Safe?

Although the dentist is not a frequent office that we visit, most of us go at least twice a year. To most, this may be a minor inconvenience, but to others, this is a fear-inducing occurrence. Sedation dentistry helps to alleviate these fears. Dr. Justin Raanan offers sedation dentistry for those patients that suffer from this anxiety. But, is sedation dentistry safe?

Why Use Sedation Dentistry?

Dentophobia is the fear of going to the dentist. It is reported that 4.6% of women and 2.7% of men suffer from this phobia. Sedation dentistry is a unique tool that helps those who suffer from this anxiety to reap the benefits of timely dentist visits. Everyone tries to avoid what they fear, and avoiding the dentist could be costly for the health of your teeth.

Patients fear the dentist or periodontist for many reasons. Some have traumatic past experiences that create a nasty association with anything dental related. Others fear pain, and this fear bleeds into the possibility of pain at a dentist visit. For some, feeling out of control due to dental health is the driving force behind their phobia. Although there are dental practices specifically catered towards those who are nervous, they are limited by geographic location. Sedation dentistry is a great alternative for both the patient and the dentist. It creates a comfortable state for the patient, and effective environment for the dentist to perform. Ultimately, sedation dentistry is not necessary for every patient, but it is a great tool for those who do need it.

For more questions regarding the sedation dentistry process, get in touch with the top periodontist in Beverly Hills, Dr. Raanan.

The Different Types of Sedation Dentistry

There are multiple types of sedation dentistry for specific procedures and patients. Depending on the intensity of the dentophobia, amount of time needed, and scope of the procedure, your dentist will choose which of these is right for you.

  • Oral Sedation. This type of sedation uses pills to calm the patient. These pills will not make you unconscious but will allow you to ignore your fear while still being awake. Most patients who use oral sedation do not remember the procedure the following day. This will make the patient extremely sleepy due to the effect it has on the body’s ability to respond to fear.
  • Laughing Gas. This type of sedation dentistry is similar to oral sedation. Instead of taking a pill, the patient will breathe in the gas through their nose to receive the relaxing effects. Unlike oral sedation that makes the patient sleepy for a while after the procedure, laughing gases effects are short term. The feeling usually dissipates by 30 minutes after inhaling the gas. This is a great method for those patients that just need to take the edge off.
  • Twilight IV Sedation. This method has similar effects to oral sedation. However, it is administered intravenously rather than orally with a pill. The patient will be unable to remember the procedure, although they are still conscious of it.
  • General Anesthesia. This is the most intense form of all the methods. It is typically a last resort because it requires the help of an anesthesiologist. This method is administered intravenously as well but renders the patient completely unconscious.

Is Sedation Dentistry Safe?

Millions of patients are treated safely each year using theses sedation techniques. However, there is always a certain amount of risk in taking any type of drug. The important thing is to be open and honest with your dentist about your fears, your overall health, and any other substances you may be taking that will adversely affect the sedation process. The American Dental Association has strict guidelines on these sedation methods. If you do elect to use one, with your dentist’s help, you will be safe. Be sure that you consult with an experienced sedation dentist, such as Dr. Justin Raanan, so that you are in capable hands.

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