I am the queen of “What could go wrong?” I see the possibilities of death everywhere. Even when my appendix became inflamed I made a pro/con list to decide whether I had a higher chance of dying from the surgery or from the appendix. I opted to wait until my appendix burst, which it did. Then I had to have surgery. I was pleasantly surprised that I woke up afterward. So, you can see that I’m a little frightened of things which I have little control over. I’m having a dental procedure. My dentist said he highly recommends I have sedation because of my anxious nature. However, I can’t help but worry that this can kill me the way anesthesia from surgery can.
You’re not alone in your fears. In fact, many Americans are on anti-anxiety medications for that very reason. While there is risk with any procedure, sedation dentistry is very safe. In fact, in the case of some patients such as those with heart disease, epilepsy, or those at risk for stroke, using sedation actually makes the procedure safer.
This is completely different than the type of sedation you get with surgery. Dental sedation is called oral conscious sedation. You have control over your bodily functions throughout the procedure, but are completely relaxed. Most people simply sleep through the procedure.
The thing to do is speak with your dentist about all the risks. Then, ask him about the precautions he takes. For instance, is there someone in the room keeping an eye on your vitals throughout the procedure? What are their procedures if something goes wrong? Knowing the answers to these things likely will put your mind at ease.
You should know that patients who try sedation dentistry often say it changes their life. Where they used to be terrified of the idea of going to the dentist, now they look forward to it. You’ll also find you’re able to do more work during each appointment. So, whether you need several fillings, several crowns, or tooth extractions it’s much easier to have the work done all at once instead of going to office several times.
This blog is brought to you by Dr. Theodore Hadgis.