Many Americans miss out on the benefits of regular trips to the dentist, potentially putting their general health at risk, because they experience dental phobia, or fear of anything related to the dentist. There are many factors that can contribute to this phobia and with the latest research showing a strong connection between oral health and several serious health conditions, dentists around the globe are attempting to help patients overcome this very real concern. For many, the answer has been sedation dentistry, or sleep dentistry, which is a dental practice using medication to help patients relax during procedures. There are several levels of sedation to suit the many unique needs of all patients. Understanding the basics of this growing practice and discussing them with your dentist are the first steps in deciding if sedation dentistry is right for you.
There are four basic levels of sedation: minimal, moderate, deep, and general anesthesia. With minimal sedation, you are relaxed but very much awake. Moderate, or conscious sedation, causes some to slur their speech and many to not remember much of a procedure. Deep sedation puts you on the edge of consciousness, while still remaining able to be awakened. A patient is completely unconscious when under general anesthesia. Sedation can be administered a number of ways, ranging from inhalation and oral medication to IV sedation. Most patients are considered candidates for sedation, but it is most appropriate for those who suffer from fear or anxiety about a dental procedure, have a low pain threshold, and/or need a substantial amount of dental work completed. The topic of safety has been of concern to many, as there is always a risk involved when receiving anesthesia. Not every dentist is capable of administering all levels of sedation and it is important that you discuss this topic thoroughly with your provider. Every state has their own rules and regulations about sedation dentistry, and many require dentists to hold a special permit to practice. Dr. Luis Sanchez, of Miami Dental Sedation Spa, has compiled a list of topics that are recommended to discuss with your sedation dentist prior to treatment (En Español también).
At Miami Dental Sedation Spa, Dr. Luis Sanchez and Dr. Gabriel Vidal strive to provide expert dental care in a serene and comfortable environment. Both professionals are highly trained and qualified in the field of sedation dentistry. Dr. Vidal is a member of the American Dental Association, the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, the Florida Academy of Anesthesiology, and the Dental Organization for Conscious Sedation. He is engaged in continuing his education for IV sedation. Dr. Sanchez has received advanced education in IV sedation from Dr. John A. Yagiela, a worldwide authority on sedation. He has lectured at local hospitals and has articles published in the American Journal of Dentistry, Journal of the American Association of Dental School, and the Miami Herald. He is a past president of the Florida Hispanic Dental Association and member of the Board of Trustees at the National Hispanic Dental Association. Currently, he is a member of the Florida Dental Society of Anesthesiology and the Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine. As a team, they strive to meet the goals of their patients in order to improve their health and overall quality of life.