Understanding Oral Sedation
Oral drugs typically work on an individual’s central nervous system for promoting relaxation. These sedatives aren’t usually prescribed as it may take up to 30 minutes for the drugs to be effective. Moreover, the use of these sedatives may lead to long-term drowsiness.
What Is General Anesthesia?
General anesthesia is typically used for putting the patient to sleep during the normal process. Patients in need of general anesthesia can get their treatment in the dental office. However, in most cases, such patients get their treatment in a hospital. The main reason behind this is the fact that this anesthesia poses certain health risks, including drops in blood pressure along with irregular heartbeats. Therefore, the patient requires close monitoring. For reasons like these, general anesthesia is normally used when serious or complicated dental work is required, particularly when other types of sedation or pain management options fail to overcome fear. Before opting for general sedation, it is important to ask the dental professional or the dentist if he/she is legally licensed to administer the sedation.
Discussing the possible options with the dentist is extremely important. The dentist should also be informed about any health problems that the patient may already have, if he/she is taking any medications, or if he/she has a history of health problems such as allergic reactions to certain medications. With the help of this information, the dentist can determine the most ideal anxiety- and pain-management option for the patient.
It is important to understand that the dentist may only be licensed to administer certain but not essentially all pain- and anxiety-management techniques. According to some experts, sedation use might not be appropriate for routine dental processes. In fact, many experts also state that the advantages of proper oral care for individuals with high dental anxiety outweigh any sedation risks.
Body Strategies For Anxiety/Pain Management
An ideal strategy for reducing stress and managing anxiety is distracting the patient with something pleasant. Some patients bring their iPod or other entertainment devices to distract themselves. In fact, certain dental offices have such distracters in their offices to help the patient keep his/her attention from the dental work.
According to research, relaxation techniques are highly effective in reducing pain as well as anxiety levels. There are various types of relaxation techniques with the most common being “guided imagery” and “deep breathing”.
Understanding Guided Imagery
This strategy involves recalling or visualizing a pleasant or comfortable experience. By focusing on being as detailed as possible, the mind gets so indulged in the task that the patient forgets about his/her dental work.
The Deep Breathing Way
This strategy is effective in promoting deep and slow breathing that enhances the flow of oxygen in the body, thereby relieving stress and anxiety.