Counting Teeth: What You Need To Know About Sedation Dentistry

Heartburn, acid reflux, gastroesophageal reflux disease – no matter what name you like to call it, it can be a real hassle in your everyday life. But heartburn can be more than just an annoyance or a source of discomfort; its ability to constantly expose your teeth to stomach acid makes it a serious dental concern. Many people with acid reflux can't lie down comfortably in a dentist's chair without the acid bubbling up – but since you need your teeth cleaned regularly to prevent cavities and the like, what are you to do? If you're looking for a solution that can let you get your teeth cleaned without your heartburn coming out to play, then here's what you need to know about sedation dentistry.

It's Not Just For Dental Anxiety

Yes, it's true that sedation dentistry is often used for those who get too anxious or embarrassed about their mouths to get through a routine cleaning successfully, but it has more uses than just for the afraid, the anxious, or the embarrassed. Sedation dentistry is ideal for those who suffer from acid reflux, as this level of sedation also helps to suppress the gag reflex, which is tied directly to your acid reflux. Preventing your gag reflex prevents acid entering your mouth and can even prevent you from full-on throwing up in an appointment.

Moderate Sedation May Be Right For You

In case you're worried about sleeping straight through your dental appointment or reacting poorly to anesthesia, don't worry – generally the most common type of sedation used on heartburn patients is moderate sedation. Moderate sedation (also known as conscious sedation) leaves you technically awake and able to respond to your dentist's requests to open and close your mouth, but results in you only being really half-awake and not remembering the procedure by the next day.

You'll Want to Use the Buddy System

Because you'll technically be sedated, you'll need someone to drop you off and pick you up from the dentist's office after your appointment at the very least (depending on how you react to sedation, it may be a good idea to have someone else at home to keep an eye on you). If you don't have any family or friends to take care of you, at least ensure that you can take a cab (or cab-like service such as Lyft or Uber) to and from your appointment. If you feel that sedation dentistry could be the right choice for you, talk to a dentist, such as Picone Dental - Vincent J Picone DDS, and go to your next appointment with confidence.