Fear of the dentist is a very real problem facing millions of Americans each year. For some people, their anxiety is so severe that they do all they can to avoid regular appointments or seeking treatment. Unfortunately, this means that their dental health is suffering. People who don’t visit the dentist regularly are more likely to suffer from toothache, decay and periodontal disease, a serious inflammatory condition that has been linked to the development of chronic health problems including diabetes, cancer, heart disease, and stroke.
Fortunately, oral sedation now makes it possible for even the most fearful patient to be able to tolerate everything from a basic dental check-up to more invasive treatment. We are pleased to be able to offer comprehensive sedation dentistry services here at our dental offices in Matteson, IL.
While sedatives have long been used in various medical fields, oral sedation refers to the use of sedative medications in the field of dentistry. These drugs enable patients to relax and remain still so that treatment can be performed. This is vitally important since dental appointments, even those which are just check-ups, can involve the use of sharp instruments which could cause injury if you were to suddenly flinch or move.
There are various different types of oral sedation available and our dental team will advise you which is most appropriate for you based on your individual needs and the type of appointment you will be having. In most instances, we will always recommend the least amount of sedation to keep you comfortable. This is because it is ordinarily simply not necessary to give deep sedation for basic appointments such as a check-up or cavity filling.
Oral sedation types include:
Light Sedation: This is usually given in the form of nitrous oxide which is inhaled through a mask placed over the nose. the gas must be breathed continuously to be effective and will cause patients to feel slightly disorientated.
Moderate Sedation. Typically provided as a pill which is swallowed around an hour before your procedure, moderate sedation causes patients to have only a little awareness of what is going on around them. You will be able to remain completely still and may have no memory of your procedure.
Deep sedation. Administered intravenously, deep sedation places you right at the edge of consciousness. You won’t have any awareness of what is happening around you and absolutely no memory of your treatment.
It is important to be aware that you will be medically advised not to drive for at least 24 hours after moderate or deep sedation as your reflexes may be impaired. Therefore, you will need to arrange for someone to drive you home and stay with you until the effects of the sedation have completely worn off.
Oral sedation is also a highly effective solution for patients who may have physical or cognitive disabilities and would otherwise find it impossible to undergo dental appointments. This includes patients who are physically unable to remain still and co-operate with instructions or who do not understand the importance of remaining still and co-operating with instructions. Examples include patients with:
Sedation can enable even the most impaired patient to successfully undergo dental treatments that could improve their oral health and prolong the longevity of their natural teeth.
If you are nervous or anxious about dental procedures, or you have a loved one with a cognitive or physical impairment that makes it difficult for them to tolerate dental appointments, our sedation services can help. Please contact our dental offices in Matteson, IL today to discuss your/their suitability for oral sedation.