When facing a periodontal procedure like a root planing and scaling or a gum graft, some patients may experience anxiety that discourages them from seeking treatment. Yet, postponing these interventions can lead to progressing gum disease and possibly serious consequences for the patient’s oral and overall health.
Sedation dentistry can help these patients overcome their fears and get the periodontal care that will help to preserve their oral health.
With sedation dentistry, patients take anti-anxiety medications that help them to achieve a state of deep relaxation. This process helps them to tolerate the procedure more easily. However, patients do not lose consciousness during the procedure, so they are still able to respond to the periodontist’s commands.
The periodontist generally combines sedation dentistry with local anesthesia for maximum patient comfort during the procedure.
Patients who choose sedation dentistry have a number of options to take those medications. The relaxing drugs can be taken in pill form, or they can be inhaled in the form of nitrous oxide. Patients may also choose intravenous sedative delivery for a particularly fast effect.
Sedation dentistry does require a certain amount of planning on the patient’s part. Those who choose oral sedation will need to take the pill far enough in advance of the appointment to give the medication enough time to take effect. Additionally, they will need to make arrangements for someone to drive them to the appointment.
One of the benefits of nitrous oxide is its quick reversal. Patients who choose this method typically recover quickly enough to drive home after the appointment and resume their normal activities right away.
However, the effects of oral and intravenous sedatives will not wear off quickly enough for patients to be able to drive themselves home.
Nitrous oxide also takes effect quickly, as well.
Sedation dentistry is safe and effective, and patients are closely monitored throughout the procedure to spot any signs of distress. Your periodontist will give you instructions about the sedation and discuss any concerns with you in advance of the procedure.
If your nerves have been preventing you from seeking treatment for periodontal disease, put your mind at ease with sedation dentistry. Ask our periodontal team about this option at your initial consultation.