What should I know about sedation at the dentist?

Although most dental visits are for preventative purposes and require no anesthesia, in some cases, you may need to undergo a more complex procedure. In such an instance, your dentist may recommend using anesthesia. Depending on the procedure, you may need just a simple sedative to help you relax. These include anti-anxiety agents and can be applied along with a local sedative, according to the American Dental Association. Once provided, a patient will become moderately sedated but will still be responsive to touch or verbal instructions.

For more complex procedures – such as tooth extractions – your dentist may recommend drugs to induce a deep sedation. Under this type of sedation, a patient loses feeling in the intended area and reaches a reduced state of consciousness. Some patients also elect to undergo general anesthesia, which causes the patient to lose complete consciousness for the duration of the procedure. This is often used during wisdom tooth extraction, but the ADA suggests it can also be used for children who have extreme anxiety at the dentist or for people with disabilities that make it difficult to control movement. In order to make safety the highest priority during procedures with anesthesia, you as the patient should be sure to communicate the following information to your True Care Advantage discount dental plan dentist ahead of time:

  • Any current or past illnesses or health conditions;
  • Any medications taken, including over-the-counter drugs and supplements;
  • Any allergies to medications.

With this information, your dentist can help you make informed decisions about your dental care.


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