Although sedation dentistry sounds like a one-size-fits-all to anxiety inducing treatments, it’s important to know that every sedative carries a risk. Fortunately, benzodiazepines used to sedate patients are very safe, non-addictive and reliable. They provide patients with a calm, dream-like experience of their dental treatment that is pain-free and often results in the patient forgetting all about the treatment.
To ensure that you have the safest experience with sedation dentistry, however, there are certain guidelines that need to be followed:
Make sure your dentist is certified: Sedation dentistry is a type of anesthesiology that, while minor, still carries certain risks that require specific training. In fact, the State of Washington requires a specific certification for dentists who perform sedation dentistry, and consumers may verify this credential through Washington Department of Health Credential Search. Although you are awake during the procedure, dentists should monitor your safety, dosage and other factors while you are under the influence of the medication.
Minor health problems: Temporary health problems like the flu should put your dental treatment on hold until your immune system is back up and your body is healthy again. While having a minor health problem may only add a slight risk, it can cause unnecessary complications and it’s always better to err on the side of caution.
- Chronic conditions: If you have chronic health problems, your dentist should fully evaluate you to ensure that you are not at risk from complications during sedation. Conditions that can impact on your eligibility include asthma, respiratory conditions and heart complications.
- Medication: Your doctor should be informed of any medication that you are currently taking, whether it is an over-the-counter medication or from a doctor’s prescription. Although negative interactions with benzodiazepines are rare, they can happen and your safety is our top priority.