Sedation Dentistry Risks

In sedation dentistry, the primary risk is that the medication will make it hard for you to breathe. This can occur because tissues may sag, blocking your airway or it can be caused by your body not actually breathing, not breathing deep enough, or not breathing often enough. Sleep apnea puts people at a high risk for this complication.

There are other potential reactions your body may have to sedation dentistry. If your liver or kidneys are compromised, they may be damaged further by sedation medications, causing injury. Your body may also not be able to clear the medication from your body, resulting in deeper sedation or longer sedation than is desired. An allergic reaction can result in very serious consequences, even death.

If you tend to have low oxygen saturation, nitrous oxide could lead to oxygen deprivation of your brain, resulting in serious injury or worse.

IV sedation has the highest level of risk and requires that you be thoroughly examined by your sedation dentist and have a comprehensive health history taken before the procedure.

When Sedation Is Safer Than No Sedation

For some people, sedation dentistry isn’t just safe, it’s recommended for your safety. Some people put themselves at risk if they go to the dentist. These are people with high levels of anxiety and some health conditions with attacks that might be triggered by anxiety, including those with:

  • Heart disease
  • Asthma and related respiratory conditions (though these may be aggravated by inhaled sedation)
  • Epilepsy

However, it’s important to make sure that you tell your dentist about medications or other treatments you are already taking for your condition, because they may interact with sedation techniques.

How You Can Make Sure Your Sedation Dentistry Is Safe

It’s important to realize the role you play in ensuring your sedation dentistry is safe. In order to ensure your safety, it’s important for you to see your doctor regularly and have a comprehensive check-up for serious health conditions. Note that sleep apnea is often undiagnosed, so talk to your doctor about it if you are overweight or have any of the following:

It’s also important to communicate thoroughly with your dentist all the medications and treatments you are currently undergoing. This includes more than just prescription medications—don’t forget to mention over-the-counter medications and supplements you are taking regularly. Even if it says “all-natural,” it may still be a concern.

Follow your sedation dentist’s instructions precisely. In particular, it’s important to make sure you’re monitored after your procedure. In the rare event a complication occurs, a timely response can make all the difference.

Have additional questions about the safety of sedation dentistry? Please contact Rice Dentistry in Irvine today.