It is no secret that some people have fears on whether they should visit their dentist or not. The anxiety people feel is due to the pain they might feel from the dentist performing procedures inside the mouth of the individual. Other people are too scared to visit their dentist because they have had bad experiences with a dentist in the past. However, due to emerging technologies in the 21st century, sedation has greatly improved the patient-experience with the dentist. Sedatives are useful for reducing pain and anxiety in a patient with out rendering them completely unconscious so the dentist can complete the dental procedure.
One type of sedative administration for patients experiencing teeth or gum pain is oral sedation dentistry. It is easy for dentists to perform, is not costly to the patient, and is safe and effective. There are no needles involved with this procedure, as the sedative is taken orally. Oral conscious sedation dentistry is also great for mild to moderate mouth pain experienced by the patient. The process of this sedation procedure includes the patient orally taking the drug in the form of liquid or pill like Halcion or Valium a few hours before the dental visit, depending on the advice of the dentist. The patient is also awake during the procedure, and can still respond to stimuli, but feels less pain. The pills may cause patients to feel groggy, and it is advised to have someone take the patient home to rest for a few hours after the dental visit. Additional side effects may include the patient having little memory of the dental procedure, nausea, and vomiting, which do not last long.
One major disadvantage of this sedation is that there is no telling how effective the drug is, or how fast the effect will be felt based on the biochemical response of the patient to the oral sedative agent. Different genetic make-up and other factors contribute to different outcomes. For example, one patient may feel the effect of the oral sedation hours after they have ingested it, while another patient may already feel the pain minutes after the dental procedure. Like every medical operation or procedure, there are risks. For oral conscious sedation dentistry, a patient make become overly-sedated. This is caused by taking in too much of the oral sedative, or by consuming the sedative in combination with alcohol. The sedation dentist must thoroughly go through the medical history of a patient to verify if there is any history of allergies, or past treatments that may affect the effectiveness of the sedatives given.
Be sure to schedule an appointment when you feel pain in your mouth, and ask your dentist about the different ways, including sedatives, to lessen the pain during your dental visit so that your experience is comfortable and anxiety-free.