Have you been putting off dental treatment because of anxiety? Does the thought of periodontal or implant surgery make you want to run for the hills? Well you are not alone. For many people, even the thought of dental treatment provokes feelings of strong anxiety and fear.
Modern dental practices no longer employ the dreaded “pain is gain” motto, and sedation for dental procedures has become a very popular way of managing the stress and anxiety that can be brought on by dental treatment. At GRAFT Periodontics, Dr.Joslin offers a wide range of sedation types which are tailored to each patient’s individual needs. IV conscious sedation “twilight anaesthesia” is the most commonly used sedation technique at GRAFT. This type of sedation is immediate, effective, adjustable throughout the procedure, and is relatively quick to recover from once the procedure is over. Patients report a high level of satisfaction with IV conscious sedation, and are able to receive dental care in a safe and less stressful environment.
There are a lot of questions to be asked about sedation, but here are the answers to the top 5 most common questions:
1. What is sedation?
Conscious sedation is a decreased level of consciousness created through the administration of medication(s). Sedatives cause drowsiness, and therefore a decreased awareness of one’s surroundings. In addition, they modulate the normal pain signalling pathways within the body and act to decrease patients’ feelings of pain. Sedatives comes in a variety of forms and are most commonly given orally, by inhalation (nitrous oxide), or through an intravenous.
2. What are the benefits of sedation?
The greatest benefit of sedation for dental treatment is the reduction in anxiety. Patients having sedation appear relaxed and comfortable and most report little memory of their dental appointment. Patients feel as though time has passed quickly during the appointment, and are often surprised to hear that “we are done” at the end. For patients who have difficulty with local anaesthesia, a tooth that doesn’t “freeze”, IV sedation allows the surgeon to administer strong pain killers through the intravenous, and provide pain-free dentistry even in the toughest cases.
3. What can I expect after having sedation?
Every type of sedation (aside from nitrous oxide “laughing gas”) will result in effects that last longer than your dental appointment. You will be monitored closely during your appointment, and discharged home with a responsible adult approximately 1 hour after your treatment. You will feel drowsy and will not be capable of completing tasks that require concentration. It’s important to rest at home for the remainder of the day.
4. Do you still make me numb if I have sedation?
Yes, we have to! Once you are comfortably sedated, the dental surgeon will numb the treatment area with local anaesthetic. You will not see the needle, as feared by many, and will not remember the details of receiving local dental anaesthesia.
5. Will I be asleep through the procedure?
You will be very relaxed, and feel as though you are sleeping for much of the appointment. However, you will still be conscious, and therefore able to do all of the important things like swallow and breath on your own. Patients who are sedated have the ability to pipe up at any time during the procedure, however they tend to just doze through the appointment.
The most common “interruption” by a sedated patient during their procedure is a request for them to scratch their nose! This is a side-effect of one of the medications used during sedation, and often results in a VERY slow attempt by the patient to scratch their nose.
Dr. Joslin is an experienced dental surgeon, and has treated hundreds of patients with conscious sedation. The team at GRAFT want to make sure that your experience with dentistry is a positive one.
Feel free to contact us with any questions regarding dental sedation, and whether it’s right for you.