A visit to the dentist can be a source of anxiety for some people. This is because tooth extractions, root canal therapy, and even a simple oral prophylaxis session can cause considerable pain to some dental patients. Residents living in the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania area are fortunate to have in their midst certified sedation dentists like Dr. Thomas DeFinnis from Wynnewood Dental Arts, who offer dental treatment minus the associated discomfort and unpleasantness.
A sedation dentist in Philadelphia may utilize oral medication such as diazepam, zaleplon, and hydroxyzine to soothe patients during a procedure. One other alternative to induce relaxation is through the use of nitrous oxide, popularly known as “laughing gas” administered through a mask. Some sedation dentists administer pharmacological agents intravenously, thereby enabling them to control the level of sedation.
Oral conscious sedation is an increasingly preferred technique for dental sedation in Philadelphia and the rest of North America. Simply put, the patient is made to drink the sedative medication the night before, and immediately before the procedure so he stays relaxed, free of pain, but completely lucid. As mentioned above, inhalation and intravenous sedation are also viable options, along with sleep dentistry. These methods are prescribed based on the patient’s needs and condition.
Benefits and Side Effects of Sedation Dentistry
Like all medical procedures, sedation dentistry has its share of risks that accompany its benefits. The primary advantage is that it enables patients to become more relaxed, especially during difficult dental procedures such as extraction and root canal. The calm state leads to an indefinite concept of time, something that is particularly beneficial to patients who dread of lengthy treatments.
However, sedation dentistry can also result in rather unpleasant side effects. Patients may experience a dry mouth sensation, or suffer a series of hiccups after the sedation drugs are administered. These usually last until the effects of the medication wear off. Dental sedatives may cause headache, nausea, and allergic reactions as well.
Dental patients are advised to schedule a consultation with their dentist before undergoing any kind of sedation dentistry. They should be given an overview of the procedure, including the possible adverse reactions, so that they can make an informed decision. In the end, both parties must agree on a treatment that would work best for the patient’s well-being.