Conscious sedation is a type of anesthesia where the patient feels a no pain, but is generally verbally responsive.
Such anesthesia is mainly used when brain surgeries are performed, in order for the surgeon to see that no brain activities are hurt during the operation.
However, conscious sedation is also helping patients with dental anxiety; the patient will feel nothing during the dental procedure, because he is in an altered state of consciousness.
Conscious sedation dentistry is being currently performed in many US areas trained sedation dentists can now help patients with extreme anxiety/dental phobia by practicing this type of anesthesia.
According to sedation dentists, there are several advantages to this practice such as the fact that the patient is brought to an extremely relaxed state of mind, and this way the doctor is able to perform the dental services for even 4 hours long for the duration of the sedation. While patients are able to communicate, they are in a sort of a sleepy and very calm state which is extremely helpful.
According to a recent article that has been reviewed by the Columbia University College of Dental Medicine, people who suffer from severe dental phobia continuously postpone their appointments with the dentist. This in turn will only make their situation worse; some people have to put up with quite bad gum infections and extreme pain, yet they still don’t make up their mind.
According to the same reviewed publication mentioned earlier, currently approximately 10% to 15% of the American citizens postpone their visits to the dentist because they suffer from extreme dental phobia.
There are so many patients that prefer to walk around with swollen faces from their dental infection, rather than go in to the dental office and have the problem fixed, simply because they are extremely scared.
When entering their dental practice, quite a few patients start shaking and they are pale, already on the verge of loosing consciousness. In such cases, the dentists try to discuss with them, try to gain their confidence and to tell the patients that everything is going to be alright.
Sedation dentists assure that conscious sedation is extremely safe, if it is performed by a highly skilled and trained professional. The substances that are generally administered in conscious sedation dentistry are the so called “laughing gas” or Nitrous Oxide, Lorazepam (anxiety medication), and Fentanyl which is an extremely powerful pain reliever.
Patients eligible for this kind of procedure are the ones older than 18 years of age, and younger than 65. Before actually being sedated, several tests and evaluations will be run to see if the patient is fit for conscious sedation from a medical point of view.
Patients need to generally be in a healthy and strong physical condition in order for the conscious sedation to be performed.