The benefits that sedation dentistry can bring to some patients are undeniable and have been discussed quite a lot recently, with dental offices trying to create a comfortable and friendly environment for their clients. One of the most common questions regarding sedation is just how safe it is.
Parents, patients with chronic illnesses or caregivers to senior citizens are most concerned about possible complications following sedation, and it is perfectly understandable that they want reassurement regarding the quality of the medical protocols. We would like to shed light on quality control and what can patients do before a procedure that involves sedation, so that risks are kept to a minimum.
What Is Sedation Used for in Dentistry?
First of all, to understand what is expected of sedation in a dental office, it’s good to know what it is exactly. Some patients believe that sedation refers to the painkillers or local anesthetic that they might have been given at the dentist’s office. Sedation is different as it addresses anxiety mostly. It is very useful to patients who are having trouble staying still or remaining calm during a dental procedure: people with exacerbated dentist associated anxiety, small children, people with certain disabilities, senior citizens who suffer neurological or other conditions, etc.
If you are the right candidate for sedation dentistry, your doctor has probably suggested it to you for more complex dental procedures. If you feel a bit uncertain about the safety of the procedure, here is a short presentation of the regulation system for sedation dentistry.
Role of the Dental Team in Sedation Dentistry
The role of a dentist in the team that is treating you can be: sedationist, dentist, or both. Dentists are trained to administer conscious sedation, so anything other than general anesthesia can generally be performed by a dentist. The requirements vary from state to state, but they basically imply graduating a special course. In Missouri, for example, dentists need to complete a board-approved, plus a minimum of 15 hours of training on medical emergencies and possible complications from sedatives.
In most states, any moderate to high sedation procedure must be done by a fully trained and qualified team. At least two members other than the sedationist must be trained to monitor patients and the sedationist must have a permit before giving their patients sedatives.
Proper patient investigation and examination must be done before the procedure, and the dentist must get a relevant picture of the patient’s medical history. If you feel like your doctor has not treated this step thoroughly enough, you can express your concern to them and even ask for a second opinion on it. Make sure you are given verbal or written instructions covering your preparation at home and ask anything seems unclear to you before the procedure.
Dentistry has advanced a lot in the last decade, and patients can have a truly relaxing and comfortable experience on the dentist’s chair. However, it is wise and perfectly acceptable to check the qualification of the dentist before you go ungo sedation for a dental procedure.