Feeling anxiety at dental offices is more common than people may be aware of, even if patients are just showing up for an annual checkup. The thought of having oral work done can be paralyzing for those who may have had a bad dental experience in the past. Fortunately, most dentist offices offer different medications to help patients feel relaxed and comfortable during their visits.
Depending on the type of dental procedure, dentists will use medications to help patients remain completely still, to eliminate pain, or to put patients in a sleep-like state. Local anesthesia is often used on whatever area is being treated to prevent pain by blocking the nerves that sense or transmit pain. This form of sedation can be topical or injectable and is applied right before the procedure. Topicals can be used to relieve pain from mouth sores, and injectables are often used for tooth fillings, gum disease treatment, and installing crowns.
There are specific guidelines that dentists are required to follow before administering anesthesia and sedating children. For example, there always has to be at least two trained professionals in the room who can assist with life support measures in case an emergency occurs. The two professionals consist of the dentist or oral surgeon and an independent observer. The independent observer cannot be a family member, they must be a certified registered nurse anesthetist, a physician anesthesiologist, or another oral surgeon.
Depending on the child’s health history and the type of procedure being performed, dentists may use nitrous oxide, mild sedation, moderate sedation, deep sedation, or general anesthesia.
Before administering anesthesia, dentists will discuss the patient’s medical history to ensure that sedation is appropriate and won’t cause any other complications. Some of these factors include drug history, allergies, overall health, and anxiety level. It’s important that patients are completely honest with dental professionals so that they can receive the safest treatment possible.
At McBride Dental, we are aware that the thought of going to the dentist can cause extreme anxiety for some of our patients, which is why we offer sedation dentistry. We provide several types of sedation dentistry to assist our patients with completing their procedures, which includes nitrous oxide, oral sedation, and IV sedation. Nitrous oxide is considered a laughing gas that patients inhale to feel more relaxed. Oral sedation involves patients taking oral medication prior to their dental appointments so that by the time they arrive they feel relaxed. Lastly, IV sedation requires administering medication through the veins, which is the quickest way to sedate patients before their procedures. We do all we can to ensure our patients have a relaxed and comfortable experience at our office, whether it’s for gum disease treatment, cosmetic dentistry, or a deep cleaning. If you are in the San Diego area and would like to schedule an appointment at our office, contact us today at (760) 471-1003.