Thursday, April 19, 2007

Sedation Dentistry

Sedation Dentistry - Is It For You?
By Dr Joseph Marcius

Eliana Michaelichen smilingFor some people, even the thought of a trip to the dentist can send cold chills down the spine. If you are one of these people, you may put off going to the dentist altogether, which can be dangerous to the health of your teeth. However, if the thought of pain or the anxiety the dentist causes is the only thing keeping you from getting treatments and check-ups, sedation dentistry may be right for you.

What is sedation dentistry? Sedation dentistry is a process for numbing that allows patients to become numb, drowsy, and in most cases, sleep right through the procedures being performed on them. The patient first becomes extremely relaxed, easing anxiety, and then just drifts off to sleep. While the dentist is performing the work, the patient who has been sedated doesn't feel a thing. The process of sedation dentistry allows patients to be extremely relaxed without actually being unconscious. In addition to the numbing used during the actual procedure itself, sedation dentistry is a stronger form that mostly promotes relaxation, so you won't feel as anxious or panicky when you visit the dentist.

The process of sedation dentistry first involves the patient taking a sedative or type of analgesic an hour or so before the procedure. Someone will have to drive the patient to the dentist if they opt to take this route, as it will make them unable to drive safely. Another way this can be administered is intravenously. Once this medicine kicks in, which takes about an hour for those who take pill form and much shorter for those who opt for the needle route, and the patient falls to sleep. When they wake up or become coherent, there is no memory of the surgery or procedure that took place.

What kind of procedures use sedation dentistry? Whether or not sedation dentistry is offered and for what procedures depends mostly on the dentist. Some dentists will give sedation dentistry to any patient who experiences extreme dental anxiety for almost any procedure, even cosmetic dentistry.

Is sedation dentistry right for me? Whether or not you're a candidate for sedation dentistry depends on a number of things. For people who are scared of needles or those who don't like to take the chances that go along with sedation dentistry, more traditional methods may be more appropriate.

Sedation dentistry is also more expensive than traditional "laughing gas" and not as strong, and not all insurances will cover it. As a general rule, sedation dentistry may be right for you if you experience any of the following:

- You often put off or cancel dental appointments, even if you need a serious procedure done, because the thought of going to the dentist frightens you.
- Traditional numbing or freezing techniques aren't effective for you.
- You have an intense fear of needles, drilling, or other dental instruments or procedures.

Dental procedures needn't cause such intense fear. If you feel like sedation dentistry is for you, talk to your dentist about your options.

About the Author
Dr Joseph Marcius, DDS, is a leading dentist in Akron, Ohio. Dr Marcius specialises in smile makeovers, dental implants and sedation dentistry. Visit the Akron Ohio Smile Centre or call +1 (330) 633-7141 for more information.

Picture: Eliana Michaelichen smiling

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