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Sedation dentistry is used routinely as a way to ease patients’ discomfort and manage fear. Does it have any side effects?

Many people are quite afraid of going to the dentist. This isn’t only about children, but fully grown adults as well! According to certain statistics, over 75% of adult males in the USA are actually scared of visiting their dentist, and the numbers get even bigger if you consider the rest of the world. Most people choose sedation dentistry, meaning that they decide to be sedated throughout the span of the procedure. From teeth whitening to more invasive surgery, sedation dentistry is a common way to manage the fear of the patient, as well as minimizing discomfort in many ways. Sedation dentistry is common for children, who might experience higher levels of discomfort and agitation during a dental procedure.

But…is sedation dentistry risky at all?

Many dentists recommend their patients to fast in advance of the dental procedure. The reason behind this recommendation is that anesthetics can inhibit digestion and relax certain muscles that prevent food and acid from traveling to a person’s lungs. In addition, some patients experience mild nausea as the anesthetic wears off and an empty stomach reduces the likelihood of vomiting.

In some cases, individuals can be sensitive to sedatives, particularly children. The curious “Angry child syndrome” is a reaction that some kids might display temporarily following oral sedation, which might cause them to be agitated.

Anesthesia in dental settings is safe in most circumstances. However, there is always a risk with any type of anesthesia, even in hospitals. Some people should consult their doctor before receiving sedation, particularly if they suffer from obesity or obstructive sleep apnea. These issues might lead them to experience complications related to anesthesia. Always make sure that your dentist will go over your medical history before undergoing the procedure, and ask to receive a dose of sedative within your appropriate age and health range recommendations.

Dentists should always monitor the vital signs of their patients under the effect of anesthesia. In addition to that, they should also have drugs to reverse the anesthetics in case of need, as well as oxygen for artificial ventilation.

Sedation dentistry isn’t any more or less risky than other medical procedures involving the use of anesthetics. The important thing is to be aware and informed. Consult your dentist to determine the level of anesthesia that’s right for you, and discuss any pre-existing medical conditions or lifestyle choices honestly.

Millions of people receive sedation dentistry procedures every year, and the statistics are reassuring in terms of success rates.

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