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Dental Fear

A lot of patients have fears from undergoing dental procedures. Some might be go to the extreme and refuse any dental treatment because of that fear.

 

Our team is experienced in dealing with such patients and offers a wide variety of solutions to this problem to provide a pain free and stress free environment for our patients including;

 

  • Conscious sedation
  • Calming the patient and explaining the procedures to him/her
  • Using music and entertainment to distract the patient on mounted TV
  • Ear plugs to tune out annoying noises

Conscious sedation

 

In conscious sedation, the patient is able to respond to the doctors. however, he/she is unaware of the dental procedures being done nor the surroundings around them. It is a great option for patients that fear needles, dental procedures, have a tremendous gag reflex, sensitive teeth or have difficulty becoming numb from regular dental anesthesia.

 

There are 2 forms of this 'conscious sedation'.

 

I.V. (intravenous) sedation administered usually in an office/out patient surgery center. This uses medications administered directly into the persons blood stream. The advantage here is that if someone is not as "deep" as the doctor would like them to be (for their comfort) he/she may easily use more medication and its effects are instantaneous.

 

Orally administered sedation. This comes in the form of a pill or liquid and the patient swallows the medication. The disadvantages with this method are that the level of anesthesia for each person is not as predictable as a general anesthesia nor an I.V. sedation. Why not? Because this is administered by mouth in the form of a pill. Body weight, genetics, previous drug history, etc all combine to increase or decrease the amount of actual sedation a person experiences. Since it is swallowed, there is a time delay to increase the dosage (unlike placing medications directly into the blood stream).

 

 

In most dental procedures, orally administered conscious sedation should be sufficient, safe and cost effective. The drugs used comes from the same family that Valium, a popular anxiety drug comes from, benzodaizapnes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Benzodiazepines come in two options

 

Sedative-Hypnotics: drugs which induce a calming effect, including drowsiness (“sedation”). In higher doses, they induce a state resembling physiological sleep (“hypnosis”).

 

Anti-Anxiety Drugs: drugs which act primarily to relieve anxiety and make you feel calm.

 

While all benzodiazepines act as sedatives and anti-anxiety drugs, some are more targeted at brain areas which control sleep and wakefulness, while others are more specifically targeted at brain areas which control emotions such as fear. As a rule of thumb, in higher doses benzodiazepines act like sedatives and may promote sleep, while in lower doses, they simply reduce anxiety.


 

When not to take benzodiazepines (contraindications):


 

This varies from drug to drug. For example, some benzodiazepines are safe to take if you have liver problems, while others are not, and some are safe to take if you have heart problems, while others are not. You should be sure to inform your doctor or dentist if any of the following apply: known allergy to the drug, narrow-angle glaucoma, pregnancy, severe respiratory disease (COPD), congestive heart failure (CHF), impaired kidney or liver function, depression/bipolar disorder/psychoses, chronic bronchitis and some other conditions. Also if you’re taking other medications be sure to mention this. Benzodiazepines require special precaution if used in the elderly, during pregnancy, in children, in alcohol- or drug-dependent individuals.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We have on our team, a consultant of general anesthesia and sedation for patients who require special attention when undergoing conscious sedation
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