Co-Editor-in-Chief, Judy J. Johnson, DDS
Wednesday, June 17, 2009 – 07:01 PM
Medication in Dentistry
In periodontics, there are four reasons to seek medication. Those are infection, swelling, pain and sedation. Although some patients may experience pain, swelling and infection as a result of an acute periodontal problem like advanced periodontal disease, periodontic patients usually do not need medication until they are faced with surgery. Then, medication is introduced prior to the operation, usually the morning before the procedure and is continued for up to two weeks after.
Conscious Sedation in Dentistry
During the surgery, dentists use medication to not only ease the pain of the procedure, but also to reduce patient anxiety. With conscious sedation, you remain comfortable and pain-free. It is also referred to as anxiety-free dentistry, relaxation dentistry or comfortable dentistry. This is because most patients have feelings of anxiety during even a routine trip to the dentist’s office.
There are a number of sedation drugs, which can be taken by mouth. They have been developed specifically for the purpose of conscious sedation in dentistry. Sleep dentistry is a common term, which used to be used to describe a visit to the dentist office. The interesting thing is that though it was referred to as sleep dentistry, the patient never actually went to sleep during the visit. Sleep dentistry should really be applied to dentistry which uses the aid of general anesthesia.
The dentist will determine which medication is best used during sedation.
This is probably the most well recognized drug used today. Everyone has heard of valium. It’s been around and implemented since the 1960s. It is a well-known sedative. It is extremely useful during appointments where the most extensive dentistry is being performed.
This is also the most well-known treatment for insomnia. It is a highly effective drug, which can be used in conjunction with an antihistamine. It is similar to valium and is a popular choice for many different dentists. Halcion is typically used for shorter appointments.
Again, similar to valium, it is also used in the treatment of insomnia. The patient is not in an extended sleep during throughout oral sedation, but is rather relaxed and comfortable throughout the procedure.
This is a very commonly prescribed drug for anxiety. It is very useful in appointments, which are longer than two hours.
This drug is classified as an antihistamine. It has anti-anxiety effects and works in conjunction with many benzodiazepines. It has no amnesic properties.
Has the shortest half-life of any available drugs. It is ideal for short appointments and simple procedures. It has many anti-anxiety properties as well as amnesic properties.
General Medication Information
Medications are typically used to control pain and anxiety in dentistry. The patient is very rarely out completely during a dental procedure, even if he or she cannot accurately remember the procedure upon waking up.
Anti-inflammatory medications are used to relieve discomfort and redness of the mouth and gums. They …