Oral phobia is not uncommon in many people. Dentists find the answer to it in the form of sedation dentistry. But is sedation dentistry safe? Keep reading to know more…
Some people dread even the thought of going to a dental clinic. Fear, anxiety or whatever you can call it, these people despise the idea of receiving a dental treatment. For such people sedation dentistry is a way to regain their dental health without any fear. So what exactly is sedation dentistry? In the process of sedation dentistry, medications are given to the person undergoing the dental procedure to make the body relax. Once the body is relaxed, there will be no feeling of pain or discomfort even if the dental surgery goes on. It is also possible that the patient may not remember anything about the procedure after the operation/treatment is over. Is sedation dentistry safe? We will have a look at this question thoroughly.
How Safe is Sedation Dentistry?
Oral conscious sedation or also known as sedation dentistry is administered by giving the patient an oral pill at least an hour before the dental procedure. Pills like Halcion or Triazolam are normally given to patients as sedatives, however, one can’t take these pills without an expert advice. The dental expert determines the sedative pill that needs to be given to the patient. The dentist examines the past medical history and health of the patient before advising any specific sedative pill. It is not that the patient sleeps completely after taking the pills. The patient is conscious enough to reply to dentist’s questions but he or she may not feel any pain or discomfort because the area of operation becomes numb after taking the pill. Being a gift for those who have phobias of dental clinic, these sedative pills have helped many patients to go through the dentistry process without any injury or risk. The question, ‘is sedation dentistry safe’, however, has some concerns too.
Possible Overdose of Sedative Pills
In case the patient is not sedated after giving one pill, dentists try to sedate him by giving few other doses. This can lead to overdose of sedatives causing unconsciousness or the patient may be overly sedated leading to some other medical problems.
Though rare, some patients have complained feeling of nausea or headache after the sedatives are properly absorbed in the body. It is said these are just temporary effects and go away after some time.
Different Metabolic Conditions
Not all patients have same levels of metabolism. This means that not everyone will absorb the pill in a similar manner. Some may take longer and there is no way to determine the duration except for giving more pills and trying to relax the patient. This can eventually lead to the aforementioned problem of overdoses.
This is though not exactly a side effect, it is said that after the end of the surgery, patients may have a groggy feeling. That is why, there must be someone to drive them home after the surgery is over.
Dentists and medical scholars have varied opinions when it comes to the question, is sedation dentistry safe. Some say that it has potential side effects which can be controlled by proper methods while few others are very positive about the use of sedatives. It all varies on individual dentists and patients; however the safety concerns that we mentioned above have been associated to administration of sedatives.
In the sedation dentistry process, patients generally don’t have a memory of what happened during the treatment process though they may not be physically sleeping during the process. The cost of sedation dentistry is certainly high and it ranges between US$300 to US$600 depending on how long the treatment lasts and the number of times the process is done. So overall, sedation dentistry is not a very risky process but people who are ‘dental-phobic’ must sit and talk to their dentist regarding the safety concerns.