Dental Sedation in Edmonton
Uptown Dental Centre
Our lives are busy, often resulting in neglecting the self-care required to see a dentist or medical doctor for regular maintenance and checkups. We encourage our patients to prioritize their oral health to improve the longevity of their natural teeth and ensure that all tissues in and around the oral cavity are healthy. By arranging your next appointment prior to leaving the clinic, patients are less likely to put off their visit.
Busy lives aren’t the only cause of missed or neglected oral health checks. For some, visits to the dentist triggers anxiety that, when strong enough, prohibits them from making the appointment. Sensory processing disorders, claustrophobia, and previous experiences may all play a part in how comfortable a patient feels at the dentist’s office.
Our team of professionals are skilled at putting our patients at ease by ensuring that our chairside manner encourages dentist-patient trust and clear communication. Often, this reassurance is enough to tame the anxiety associated with dental procedures – but this is not always the case.
For some adults, dental procedures may not be possible without medical intervention. This is because patients may have trouble keeping still, which could compromise the dentist’s detailed work and extend the overall duration of the procedure. Other patients have a strong gag reflex that prevents any oral procedure without medical sedation.
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We offer the option of oral sedation in pill form that is effective in suppressing the central nervous system enough to ease tension and encourage relaxation and drowsiness. This medication provides a moderate level of sedation in which the patient maintains their own breathing and heart rate and remains conscious and responsive to stimulation. This oral sedative is taken prior to your appointment and will remain active in the system for the remainder of the day. For this reason, patients require a chaperone to escort them home and monitor them until the effects have dissipated.
This medication, called a benzodiazepine, is also a hypnotic, which often results in patient loss of memory of the procedure itself – despite having been awake and responsive. Oral sedation is often credited as being helpful to both the dentist and the patient. Adrenaline can cause tense muscles, difficulty remaining still and calm, and may result in a ‘hangover’ type headache once the muscles are no longer under the effects of stress. With oral sedation, the patient finds it much easier to remain still and calm, which allows the dentist to do their best professional work in a reasonable amount of time.
If you think that you may benefit from oral sedation during your next procedure, we encourage you to discuss this with your dentist, who will ensure that you are a candidate. Patients who are pregnant or who are taking certain contraindicated medications may need to delay their appointment or make special arrangements with a doctor to discontinue medications, like blood thinners, for a short time in order to allow the procedure to proceed.
For more invasive, lengthy or complex cases, IV sedation may be offered. This form of sedation delivers sedative medication intravenously, into the arm or hand. This form of sedation is also considered to be moderate, since the patient continues to breathe, and the heart maintains function, without assistance. In IV sedation, consciousness is repressed but the patient is able to respond to verbal cues with or without some form of light physical stimulation and active monitoring by a trained team member is undertaken throughout the procedure.
Dentists will inform their patients regarding how to prepare for a procedure under IV sedation and will provide special instructions to caregivers who transport the patient to and from the clinic and continue to monitor their recovery throughout the day.
Talk to Your Dentist
If you are anxious about the dentist and would like to investigate your candidacy for sedation at your next procedure, begin by speaking to your dentist. A full list of current medications and health history will be required in order to ensure that sedation can safely be offered. Don’t neglect your oral health over anxiety – your dental professional and their team are ready to support you throughout your visit. Remember: regular maintenance often eliminates the need for invasive procedures. With an anxiety management plan in place patient experience improves significantly. A reliable plan with a dentist that you trust should be the goal for all patients with anxiety to reduce uncertainty and bring some predictability to the clinical experience.
For questions about this or other services offered by our general dentist, contact our clinic today.