Comfort in Dental Treatment
Going to the dentist is rarely an experience people look forward to, especially if they need restorative dental treatment. At Pure Dentistry, our trusted team is committed to helping make each of your visits to the dentist as smooth and comfortable as possible, regardless of whether it’s a routine exam and cleaning or complicated oral surgery. With the help of sedation dentistry, we can help you get the dental work you need while keeping you at ease and pain-free.
Here’s what you should know about the benefits of sedation dentistry before scheduling your free consultation.
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General Anesthesia During Dental Treatment: An Overview
General anesthesia puts a person into an unconscious state to safely perform a medical procedure without feeling or remembering anything. Believe it or not, general anesthesia is a relatively common sedation method for dental procedures. The patient is completely unaware of what is going on around them and feels nothing. It is most often used where extensive dental work is needed and when the patient is unusually anxious or uncooperative. When general anesthesia is deemed necessary, the dental treatment must occur in a hospital setting rather than the ordinary dental office to ensure that a professional anesthesiologist can oversee the procedure from start to finish.
More common than general anesthesia for dental procedures is conscious sedation. This entails a person receiving sedation drugs through an IV or taking a pill that allows them to stay awake but still control their protective reflexes while being much more relaxed. Conscious sedation is the preferred sedation dentistry method for most patients because it allows them to feel comfortable, have their dental work completed at the dentist’s office, and has fewer side effects or risks than general anesthesia. For mild sedation purposes, happy gas, or laughing gas, is also an option to help nervous patients feel calm during less complicated dental treatments.
What Dental Treatments Require General Anesthesia?
Asking to be “put to sleep” during your dental treatment may sound simple enough, but it’s usually not as straightforward as one might imagine. Typically, general anesthesia is used for teeth extractions, such as wisdom teeth removal and extensive paediatric dental procedures. A child cannot remain calm or still for an extended period. It may also be used for extensive dental treatment for very anxious patients that can not tolerate treatment in the dental chair while they are awake. People who are medically compromised also benefit from treatment under GA.
Additionally, conscious sedation is often more beneficial for less extensive dental work and less anxious patients. It allows the patient to feel relaxed while allowing the dentist to communicate with them and direct them. See here for dental treatment of children under general anaesthetic.
Do You Feel Pain with Oral Sedation?
Pain is one of the most significant factors that motivate patients to consider oral sedation when undergoing complex dental treatments. Oral sedation helps relieve anxiety and fear. The dentist can provide deep local anesthesia, which means patients will not feel pain during the procedure.
Whether you undergo mild or deep dental sedation, you won’t feel anything during your dental treatment.
Benefits of Oral Sedation
Oral sedation offers some advantages for patients who are fearful about undergoing a dental procedure, including:
- Safe: The sedatives used in oral sedation, such as Benzodiazepines, are regulated by the FDA. Negative side effects are rare.
- Don’t require needles: Many people are afraid of needles, which can make IV sedation difficult. Having necessary dental work performed is as easy as taking a pill hours before the procedure with oral sedation.
- Amnesia: For patients afraid of going to the dentist, oral sedatives are beneficial because they won’t remember anything about their appointment. This can make future dental appointments less stressful.
- Responsive: Even though you will be drowsy after taking an oral sedative, you will still be awake and responsive during your dental procedure. This is important because it allows you to follow the dentist’s directions, ensuring it goes as efficiently as possible.
Disadvantages of Oral Sedation
Oral sedation is a popular solution to help patients anxious about having dental work done feel relaxed and remain calm. In contrast, their mouth is being worked on, but it does come with a few disadvantages. These include:
- Not being able to drive: Even though you’ll be awake after taking an oral sedative, you won’t be alert enough to drive. For this reason, you will need someone to drive you to and from your appointment.
- Results aren’t immediate: Oral sedation is not nearly as fast, unlike happy gas or general anesthesia that provides immediate calming effects. Because of this, the dentist will likely advise you to take the medication an hour or two before your procedure.
- Sedation can’t be easily altered: Because every person metabolizes medications differently, and it can take a while for oral sedatives to kick in, increasing the dosage when needed can be challenging.
What are the Side Effects of Oral Sedation?
Oral sedation is very common and considered safe for most patients; however, some side effects are possible. These include:
- Retrograde amnesia: You may remember very little or nothing at all about your dental appointment.
- Dry mouth: Sedatives can decrease your saliva flow.
- Drowsiness: You may not be able to drive yourself home or return to work until the day after your procedure.
- Nausea or vomiting
Reviewing your medical history and current medications with your doctor before undergoing dental procedures and oral sedation is essential to prevent potential negative side effects.
How Long Does Sedation Dentistry Last?
The length of your sedation dental procedure will depend on the type of oral sedation you have and the procedure being done. The effects of sedation dentistry can last anywhere from 2 to 6 hours, depending on the dental procedure you are having done. Even after the sedative has worn off, it’s common to feel exhausted for several hours.
Is Being Sedated Scary?
No one looks forward to having a dental procedure done, especially if it is complicated or takes a long time. It’s common for patients to be anxious before undergoing dental work, especially if sedation is necessary. While the thought of being sedated during a dental procedure may sound scary for adults and children alike, actually being sedated is just the opposite. When a patient is sedated, they are deeply relaxed, feel no pain, and often don’t remember anything at all.
Does Your Heart Stop During General Anesthesia?
Your heart continues to beat even when you are under general anesthesia. While your heart can stop beating during surgery, serious side effects from general anesthesia are very rare. That is why going over your full medical history and potential risks with your doctor before surgery is so important.
Can You Wake Up During Surgery?
One of the biggest fears that many patients have about having surgery is that they’ll wake up in the middle of it. This, of course, should never happen. When you undergo surgery, you are given a very specific amount of sedatives and are closely monitored from start to finish by a professional medical team, including an anesthesiologist. Additionally, the surgeon will not begin working on your mouth until he is confident that you are well sedated. If you show signs of regaining your awareness, the anesthesiologist will increase your dose to keep you unconscious and comfortable until the procedure is complete.
Why Do They Tape Your Eyes During Surgery?
When a patient is under general anesthesia, they have no control over their body, including blinking their eyes. Because of this, their eyes have no protective reflexes during surgery. Taping them shut while unconscious can help prevent them from drying out and possibly experiencing a corneal abrasion or a scratch on their eye, which can be very painful.
Experience Comfortable Dental Care at Pure Dentistry
Everyone deserves to have a healthy smile. For people in need of dental treatments or restorations, however, the thought of having work performed on their mouth can be stressful and overwhelming. Fortunately, building a rapport with a trusted dental team can make a tremendous difference in maintaining a healthy smile comfortably.
Our team of experienced dentists in Brisbane is eager to ease your fears of going to the dentist with our compassionate, personalized approach. Whether you require a routine dental exam or something more extensive, such as oral surgery, your comfort and well-being is always our top priority. Contact our Dentists in Brisbane today to learn more about how to keep your teeth in tip-top shape while helping you feel calm and comfortable with progressive dental solutions, such as oral sedation. You won’t believe how pleasant and smooth going to the dentist can be!