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Sedation Dentistry

January 25, 2011

I can’t tell you how often I hear “I hate coming to the dentist.”  Let’s face it, very few people really enjoy having medical or dental procedures.  There are times when the anxiety around this event is so intense that patients avoid dental care to their own detriment.  Most of us know that putting off needed dental care can lead to severe problems including pain and abscesses, loss of teeth and, in extreme cases, life threatening  infection.  Also, there is now evidence showing that periodontal disease, left untreated, can even lead to cardiovascular disease and heart problems (more on this in an upcoming blog).

There are solutions for patients who have extreme anxiety in the dental office in the form of conscious sedation.  This is where the patient takes an oral medication that can practically eliminate all of the anxiety surrounding a dental visit.  The technique varies according to the level of anxiety, the medical history of the patient and the complexity of the procedure.  A consult with Dr. Bartholomew can determine which sedation is right for you.

It is important to know that only dentists who meet the requirements of the Dental Practice Act (http://sos.georgia.gov/cgi-bin/PLBLaws.asp?Board=37 ) in section 43-11-21 of the law can legally administer and prescribe conscious sedation for their patients.  In the state of Georgia the doctor must have a current permit from the Dental Board, in addition to their Dental License, to offer conscious sedation.  Dentists need special advanced training and specific monitoring equipment in the office to meet the requirements for a permit.

You do not have to be paralyzed by fear when you come to the dentist.  We can help you overcome this obstacle to taking care of your dental needs.  Feel free to discuss this with us at your next appointment or schedule a consultation to explore your options.

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