Patients tend to be more anxious at the prospect of a dental treatment that involves a surgical intervention, especially if it is a complex one. One issue that patients often discuss with their oral surgeon is the possibility that they will develop negative memories after the procedure.
These patients can benefit from sedation dentistry, which has a somewhat amnestic quality to it. That is, patients have no recollection of the procedure after the fact.
Sedation dentistry relies on anti-anxiety medications that help the patient achieve a state of deep relaxation. The patient actually remains awake throughout the procedure, but one of the other additional effects of the sedatives is eliminating memories after the fact.
General anesthesia is another option that can leave a patient with no recollection of an oral surgery procedure, but sedation dentistry tends to be safer than general anesthesia. Because patients remain conscious, their airways are not compromised and do not need to be maintained artificially during surgery.
Additionally, the patient remains able to respond to the oral surgeon’s commands, which is valuable, as well.
While the sedatives are in use, the surgical team will carefully monitor the patient’s vital signs to detect any signs of potential problems.
The medications can be delivered using a variety of methods, including orally (in pill form) and intravenously. Discuss your options with your oral surgeon as part of the treatment planning process.
Depending on the delivery method you choose, you may need to take certain steps to prepare for sedation. For example, patients need to take pills far enough in advance of the appointment to give the medication adequate time to achieve the desired effect. Intravenous sedatives may require fasting for several hours in advance of the appointment.
Also, patients who choose sedation should be prepared to have someone else escort them home from the appointment, as the sedative does not wear off sufficiently in time for the patient to drive home.
If you are worried that bad memories following oral surgery will lead to or increase existing dental anxiety, consider sedation dentistry. Not only will this method improve your overall experience with oral surgery, it will also reduce your chances of having a negative memory of the procedure. Call 703-425-5010 to learn more about your options today.