Sedation dentistry might be an effective way to alleviate a patient’s discomfort whenever undergoing dental treatment or surgery. However, only dentists with the license and the proper certification could practice dental sedation. This is because your dentist will have to closely monitor how your body reacts to the sedative for the duration of the procedure.
According to the ADA Guidelines for the Use of Sedation and General Anesthesia by Dentists, three key aspects of monitoring exist: oxygenation, ventilation, and circulation. As the level of sedation goes higher, other aspects such as consciousness and temperature are included. Monitoring doesn’t end with the dental operation; a dentist has to watch out for possible post-operative effects.
Oxygenation refers to the supply of oxygen available in the body during sedation. As hypoxemia—or low oxygen in blood—is a potential side effect, dentists must have inhaling equipment on hand. Ventilation refers to the push-pull action that comes with regular breathing. Dentists are taught to look at chest excursions to determine if the respiratory system is working normally.
Circulation refers to blood pressure and heart rate. Most sedation dentists possess ECG equipment to get readings on the patient’s cardiovascular activity. A professional sedation dentist and his dental team emphasize patient monitoring and airway management during the procedure. An anesthesiologist will be responsible for concocting the right amount of sedative.