Most people fear visits to the dentist’s office due to the belief that dental procedures are painful. Advances in technology are gradually eroding this notion and making painless dentistry a welcome reality.
Dental patients no longer have to worry about dreaded tools like drills, blades, and needles. The painless dentistry procedure has many benefits to both clients and dentists.
What is Painless Dentistry?
It’s also known as sedation dentistry. As the name implies, it relies on medication to keep patients calm during oral surgery. There are various levels of sedation depending on how complex the procedure is. These include:
- Minimal sedation in which you’re awake but calm and relaxed. This is most commonly administered as laughing gas or inhaled minimal sedation. Its effects tend to wear off fairly quickly. Most patients are able to resume normal activities like driving vehicles after being put under it.
- Moderate sedation. Patients may slur their words and fail to remember some aspects of the procedure. It’s administered orally as Halcion, a pill which is swallowed about an hour before a dental procedure.
- Deep sedation. It makes you nearly unconscious but still able to be awakened if necessary. Its effects are felt more instantly because it’s administered through an IV drip straight to the vein. Your dentist can adjust the levels continuously throughout the procedure.
- General anesthesia, which leaves patients completely unconscious. If under this medication, you’ll only awaken either when it wears off or your dentist gives more medication to reverse its effects.
Although most dentists can administer moderate and minimal sedation, more complex options require thorough training. Dentist anesthesiologists and oral and maxillofacial surgeons are some of the professionals who are typically qualified to administer general anesthesia. Dr. Johnson at Lake County Oral Surgery is at a major advantage because he is licensed for both of these.
Who Needs Painless Dentistry?
Painless dentistry is on its way to becoming a standard for all dental practices. As more people understand the importance of regular checkups, dentists will keep refining these procedures. An oral surgeon might suggest sedation dentistry to people who:
- Experience anxiety or a phobia caused by a past dental procedure, such as wisdom teeth removal.
- Have extremely sensitive oral nerves that make them more susceptible to pain.
- Have small mouths that easily get sore during fairly long dental procedures such as root canal therapy.
- Previously have shown resistance to local anesthetics.
- Need a large amount of dental work done.
How to Prepare for Painless Dentistry
Although most procedures involving anesthesia proceed smoothly, it’s always advisable to take safety precautions. The level of preparation depends on the sedative being administered. Nitrous oxide or laughing gas is generally safe, and its effects wear off quickly. Your oral surgeon regulates how much you need.
For oral pills, a prescription will be written along with instructions on how to take them. The real effort is put into preparing for deep sedation and general anesthesia. Your dental anesthesiologist will probably give you the following tips concerning the procedure:
- Provide a list of any current medication being taken.
- Tell your dentist if you have a drug abuse problem or any other form of addiction.
- Stop using supplements which might react with an anesthetic medication.
- Give details about your family’s medical history as well as your health report. This prevents patients from suffering from allergic reactions to anesthesia.
Conditions such as obesity, obstructive sleep apnea, seizures, high blood pressure, diabetes, and drug allergies should be revealed. This allows the anesthesiologist to determine how to go about it, as well as safe quantities.
You might also be asked to fast in the run-up to any oral surgery. Avoiding food and drinks for hours before surgery is a common request made by anesthesiologists.
Your vital signs should be monitored during the procedure in accordance with the American Dental Association’s guidelines. In the rare chance that anything goes wrong during sedation, your dentist should have drugs that reverse any harmful effects.
The Patient’s Rights and Responsibilities
Although the oral surgeon is an expert in this scenario, dental patients also have a few responsibilities to shoulder. The first is to ensure the person conducting painless dentistry procedures is qualified to do so.
The more procedures one performs, the more expertise they gain. Before subjecting you to any procedure, you should be presented with a form detailing any potential risks. Discuss it with your dental surgeon to ensure you’re as prepared as possible.
Main Benefits of Sedation Dentistry
Painless dentistry offers patients and dentists many benefits. Clients who have had anxiety about dental visits in the past can still take care of their oral health. It is especially beneficial to people with gag reflexes.
Another benefit is that it allows dentists to perform many procedures in one appointment, which makes both parties happy. Procedures which would require multiple visits can be conducted in one appointment. These include installing oral implants, crowns, and bridges.
The dentist can also work at a faster pace because the patient is still and his or her anxiety is not causing any obstruction.
Anterograde amnesia is an unintended but ultimately pleasant benefit of painless dentistry. After anesthesia, most patients rarely remember the medical procedure, even if they appeared awake.
What Determines the Costs of Sedation Dentistry?
The cost of painless dentistry procedures is determined by various factors, such as:
- The patient’s individual insurance coverage.
- The practice’s charges for various services. For instance, dental implant cost may vary between two neighboring dentists.
- Location. Other factors such as how much rent a practice pays have a bearing on the cost of services.
- The type of sedation used. Laughing gas and moderate sedation are more affordable than IV sedation and general anesthesia. A dental anesthesiologist is paid per hour, and this charge becomes part of the overall procedure.
From these variables, it’s not possible to come up with a fixed price for every dentist in the country. Your main worry shouldn’t be necessarily about the cost, but whether the quality of service is worth it.
Do You Suffer from Dental Anxiety?
Painless dentistry at Lake County Oral Surgery is the solution. This practice has conducted several successful procedures under the leadership of Dr. Christopher Johnson. This experienced and highly talented oral and maxillofacial surgeon has a reputation for achieving high-quality results.
He also has a talented team to assist him in tackling Central Florida’s biggest oral health problems. With 6 years of specialized postgraduate training and over a decade of specialist experience, Dr. Johnson is the real deal. His services include cosmetic dentistry, wisdom teeth removal and various other forms of oral surgery.
To know more about his painless dentistry capabilities and to schedule your appointment, contact us today!