What is sedation?
The fear and anxiety to certain therapeutic or diagnostic procedures are very subjective and very personal feelings of each person, which can become very difficult to control and therefore can complicate performing the operations.
When it comes to pediatric patients or patients with some degree of mental disability, it can increase so much that it becomes impossible to conduct. Or, even worse, when implementation under fastening techniques can cause great suffering for the patient leading to develop real phobias that are maintained over time.
In the above mentioned cases the intervention of an anesthesiologist is of great help. It means that a doctor specialized in anesthesia, which by the administration of certain drugs will result in a state of mind of the patient that enables the completion of such procedures without stress or suffering.
These are the reasons why sedation is usually applied:
- The level of the kid’s anxiety will decrease, which will impact positively on his own comfort and subsequent medical experiences.
- Sedation will allow to children to have a more enjoyable or less traumatic experience, especially when they should be subject to particularly long, complex or traumatic treatments.
- The stress level decreases and increases safety in the treatment of certain patients. In turn, the trigger for medical emergencies is also reduced, very important in pediatric dentistry.
- Sedation allows to carry out dental treatments to patients whose physical or mental condition makes it very difficult under normal conditions.
- Children are much more willing to cooperate.
- In cases where there is an overly sensitive gag reflex, sedation can prevent gagging originate.
- It can serve as an adjunct in pain management, during the administration of local anesthesia as complementing its effect.
Depending on the type of patient and the type of procedure the anesthesiologist will choose a lower or higher level of anesthesia. In adult patients without mental pathologies associated with a certain degree of anxiety before a procedure a so called “superficial sedation” might be sufficient. In this case the patient is awake but with a degree of relaxation large enough to be subjected to this procedure and even to collaborate with the specialist who carries it out.
In pediatric patients, especially those at a young age, and in patients with a mental disability (Autism, Down syndrome, cerebral palsy) a higher degree of anesthesia, called “deep sedation” is required. In this case the patient is completely asleep. It is a state similar to the general anesthesia, but unlike that, the patient is breathing on his own the whole time. for as long, as we all do in physiological sleep at night.
The different anesthesia techniques, like any other medical technique, are not completely devoid of risk, although these diminish very considerably when several factors are united.
The most important of them is that the administration of anesthesia is performed by an anesthesiologist, who is specialized in it. It is also essential that this professional has all the necessary technical resources and has enough experience in the field of outpatient anesthesia.
In our long experience, leading us to be regarded as the reference in our region in pediatric dental treatment, we can say with great satisfaction that we have not had one notable complication beyond some isolated case of nausea or vomiting.
Patients must come on an empty stomach to prevent complications and are assessed by an anesthetist doctor before undergoing the anesthetic process. Once the intervention is finished, after a not too prolonged interval of time, following a series of guidelines which are explained by the anesthesiologist, the patient can go home.