No, sedation dentistry isn't a brand new field in dentistry. It's been around for quite some time, and it offers relieving benefits to patients, five of which we'll tackle today.
History of Sedation Dentistry
Sedation dentistry was first practiced in 1884 by a New England doctor named Horace Wells, who used nitrous oxide for sedating a patient during a tooth extraction.
Unfortunately, this first attempt was a disaster as the patient cried or moaned during the extraction. However, the practice was perfected by Dr. William T.G. Morton two years later, who instead used ether in the same procedure.
As the name suggests, sedation dentistry uses an anesthetic to numb a body part and minimize a patient's pain. Dentists use sedatives during non-invasive procedures such as tooth cleaning or invasive procedures like root canals or tooth extraction.
Depending on the procedure or worry a patient is feeling, four kinds of sedatives with different strengths can be used, namely:
- In minimal sedation, the patient remains awake and relaxed.
- In moderate sedation, the patient may slur words when speaking and vaguely remember the procedure.
- In deep sedation, the patient is barely awake but can still be woken up.
- In general anesthesia, the patient is completely unconscious.
Patients can ingest anesthesia in several ways, such as:
- Inhaled minimal sedation - Inhalation of nitrous oxide or laughing gas via breathing mask or tube.
- Oral sedation - Oral ingestion of a pill, such as Valium and other medications related to the Halcion drug family.
- Moderate IV sedation - Anesthesia is administered intravenously so it works faster.
- Deep sedation/general anesthesia - A powerful anesthetic is introduced to the patient's system via IV line or breathing mask or tube.
It is important to remember that dental houses also use a numbing medication where the dentist will conduct the procedure for pain relief and discomfort reduction.
Benefits and Reasons to Use Sedation
You may be wondering what help anesthetics give to patients if they aren't squeamish or afraid. Here are a few benefits and reasons:
- Sedatives Lessen Patient's Worries - A huge contributing factor to skipped dental appointments is the patient's fear of pain, especially when hearing the high-pitched whirring of a dental apparatus or the sight of blood spurting from one's mouth during a procedure. Anesthetics numb a patient's senses and allow them to relax on the dental chair.
- Patients Remain Still - Oral problems such as deep cavities or abscesses require a thorough job from dentists. Without an anesthetic, patients would feel every nerve signal in pain and flail around, making it harder for the doctor to get any work done.
- Dentists Can Work with More Ease - Regardless of a non-invasive or invasive procedure, a relaxed patient means less gagging and less worries for a dentist when working on a particular site. They can administer the proper apparatus and use the necessary tools to address the patient's problems
- Dentists Can Work Efficiently and Effectively - In cases where deep sedation is used, the patient is unconscious, unable to sense anything going on. Thus, dentists can execute the procedure quicker and more effectively as the patient is not reacting to every move, sound, or discomfort.
- Sedation Can Be Relatively Pain-Free - Since a sedative renders a person unconscious and a local anesthetic numbs the pain in the designated area, patients will not feel anything during the procedure as the brain cells do not register sensitivity.
Whether you're anxious about your next visit to a dental house or not, the sedatives work both ways for the patient and the dentist: worries are relieved, pain is lessened, and procedures go much faster!
Book an appointment with Dental House MI if you're looking for sedation dentistry in Waterford, Michigan. We're dental experts who'll find the right sedative to make your visits worry-free. Contact us today!