HOW SAFE IS SEDATION DENTISTRY?
It is safe when administered by an experienced doctor, nurse anesthetist or anesthesiologist. However, certain people, such as those who are obese or who have obstructive sleep apnea, should talk to their doctor before having sedation. That’s because they are more likely to develop complications from the anesthesia.
THE FOLLOWING ACTIONS WILL BE TAKEN BEFORE THE PROCEDURE TO ENSURE ABSOLUTE SAFETY:
- Before the procedure, the doctor, nurse anesthetist, or anesthesiologist will review your medical history to determine whether you are an appropriate candidate for sedation and ask about any medications you’re currently taking
- You will only be given an appropriate dose of the sedative for your age and health, recommended by the FDA
- You will receive a form detailing the risks of the procedure. It will be reviewed carefully with you by the treating doctor, nurse anesthetist, or anesthesiologist
- The doctor, nurse anesthetist, or anesthesiologist will monitor your vital signs during the procedure. Artificial ventilation and drugs that reverse the effects of sedation are kept on hand in case you need them
SEDATION DENTISTRY MAY ALSO BE APPROPRIATE FOR PEOPLE WHO:
- Have a low pain threshold
- Cannot sit still in the dentist’s chair
- Have very sensitive teeth
- Have a bad gag reflex
- Need a large amount of dental work completed
THE LEVELS OF SEDATION USED INCLUDE:
- Minimal sedation — you are awake but relaxed
- Moderate sedation (formerly called “conscious sedation”) — You may slur your words when speaking and not remember much of the procedure
- Deep sedation — you are on the edge of consciousness but can still be awakened
- General anesthesia — you are completely unconscious.