Sedation dentistry refers to the medical interventions used by dentists to help patients relax for procedures. Sedation is used in a variety of situations. It can help someone with severe anxiety feel relaxed enough to undergo a necessary dental procedure. Sedation can be used when a dental procedure will be particularly invasive. Whatever the reason, sedation dentistry is a routine practice. But exactly how safe is sedation dentistry? Here’s what you need to know.
Types of Sedation Used in Dentistry
The following types of sedation are the most commonly used by dental practices:
- Nitrous Oxide: a gas you breathe in through your nose, jokingly referred to as laughing gas because it provides a relaxed and euphoric feeling that has been known to make some patients laugh or giggle. The effects subside quickly once oxygen and fresh air is breathed for a few seconds to a few minutes. This is one of the safest forms of sedation.
- Oral Sedation: a pill you can take before your dental appointment that will help to relax you. When you take it about an hour before your appointment, you should be feeling relaxed by the time you sit down in the dentist’s chair. You will need someone to drive you to and from your appointment as oral sedation can make you drowsy. This option is also very safe.
- IV Sedation: a medication that is administered by a single IV in your arm or hand. It makes you feel as if you are asleep, although you are awake enough to respond to questions. Even so, you typically won’t remember anything about your procedure. IV sedation is safe for most patients, barring any underlying medical conditions.
- General Anesthesia: usually administered in a hospital setting because it renders you completely unconscious, requiring a machine to help you breathe. This option is not commonly used for dental procedures, but for complex oral surgeries. General anesthesia is definitely the riskiest option listed here, yet still very safe under medical supervision.
What Safety Precautions Do Dentists Take When Using Sedation?
Dentists will only prescribe or administer sedation if it is completely safe for the patient. In order to use sedation methods safely, dentists make sure to do the following:
- Get the patient’s complete medical history. Your dentist will ask for your previous medical history as well as current conditions and medications before administering or prescribing any type of sedation.
- Carefully monitor the patient. Your blood pressure and blood oxygen level will be constantly monitored throughout the procedure to ensure that there are no negative effects from the sedation.
- At least two caregivers are provided for each patient. While you are under sedation, there will be two caregivers who will be watching you and taking care of you during your procedure.
- The entire office is trained in ACLS and BLS. Everyone in the office is trained in Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support and Basic Life Support in case an emergency should arise.
Which Sedation Option Would Be Best For You?
You and your dentist should discuss the sedation options available to help you determine which type or combination of sedation types would be best for you. Talk to your dentist about your fears and concerns if you have any. Are you more afraid of being out of control? Or do you prefer to be completely unaware? The type of dental procedure will also play a role in the decision, as some procedures are more invasive than others and require deeper sedation.
Savannah Dental Solutions Provides Safe, Effective Sedation Dentistry
How safe is sedation dentistry? Rest assured that sedation dentistry is one of the safest ways to undergo dental work. Any complications are extremely rare and easy to remedy right away. The benefits of sedation dentistry definitely outweigh the risks for most patients, especially those with severe dental anxiety. Savannah Dental Solutions provides careful monitoring and highly trained staff to ensure a safe experience for all patients who undergo sedation.
Call (912) 354-1366 or contact us today to schedule a consultation. We look forward to helping you relax under the safe administration of sedation dentistry.
Do you have pain or limited motion in your jaw? These are the two most common symptoms of TMJ disorder. TMJ stands for the temporomandibular joint, which is the place where the lower jaw attaches to the skull. This joint can become inflamed, resulting in pain and restricted movement.
If you have symptoms, you may wonder who you should see about it, your dentist or your primary care doctor. Sometimes TMJ causes ear pain, which makes patients wonder if they need an ENT (ear, nose, and throat doctor). Here’s what you should do if you have TMJ pain.
See Your Dentist for TMJ Disorder
The best medical professional to see for TMJ issues is your dentist. Dentists focus on the health of the teeth as well as the jaw. A dentist specializes in the anatomy and physiology of the jaw, including bite alignment as it plays a major role in dental health.
If you were to contact your primary care doctor about your TMJ disorder, they may refer you to a dentist or prescribe you some basic treatment options. Even though you may experience pain in the ear, if the issue is with your jaw, an ENT will not be able to help you.
Save yourself some time and contact your dentist directly about any issues with your jaw. If your dentist can’t help, they will refer you to someone who can.
What Causes TMJ Disorder?
One of the most common causes of TMJ disorder is teeth grinding. If you grind your teeth or clench your jaw often, it puts pressure on the temporomandibular joint. This can cause the muscles and tendons to tighten up and become inflamed, causing pain and limited range of motion. Other causes include:
- Injury. A blow to the jaw could cause the joint to be out of alignment or cause the disc to slip out of place in the joint.
- Arthritis. Arthritis can affect the temporomandibular joint as it does the other joints in your body.
- Autoimmune diseases. Rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune diseases can affect the TMJ.
- Lengthy dental procedures. If you have recently undergone lengthy oral surgery or a dental procedure, TMJ disorder may result from the strain of holding your mouth wide open or having it propped open for a long period of time.
Treatments for TMJ Disorder
There are a variety of treatment options for TMJ disorder. The course of treatment depends on the severity of the disorder, the symptoms, and the cause.
- Ice. Ice can be applied to the jaw and temple to reduce swelling and inflammation.
- Anti-inflammatory pain reliever. Ibuprofen is an anti-inflammatory medication that can relieve pain and reduce inflammation in the joint.
- Mouthguard. If your TMJ disorder results from teeth grinding, a mouthguard can help to absorb the shock and lessen the force on your jaw.
- Diet of soft foods. It can help to eat soft foods that don’t require much chewing or opening the mouth very far. This allows the jaw to rest for a period of time.
- Prescription pain reliever. Sometimes a stronger, prescription strength pain reliever can be prescribed when over the counter medication is not effective.
- Steroid injection. Severe cases may benefit from a steroid injection to promote healing.
- Botox injection. Botox can relax the muscles in the jaw to relieve pain and improve range of motion.
- Surgery. When nothing else works, surgery may be required to correct TMJ disorder.
Most dental offices can provide the majority of these treatment options or refer you to a specialist.
Savannah Dental Solutions Can Treat Your TMJ Disorder
If you’re experiencing pain or limited motion in the jaw, Savannah Dental Solutions can help. We can diagnose TMJ disorder and recommend a treatment plan to relieve your symptoms and help prevent reoccurance. We specialize in TMJ treatment and provide a range of treatment options in our office.
Call (912) 354-1366 or contact us today to schedule an evaluation. We look forward to helping relieve your TMJ symptoms and providing solutions for prevention.