For those who cannot maintain or receive traditional dental care, hospital dentistry offers a compassionate, efficient alternative. Frequently, patients who are medically compromised have no time to maintain a rigorous dental schedule in addition to their other medical treatments. In some cases, these patients may be unable to travel outside of the hospital setting in order to receive treatment. Also, patients who have compromised mental functions may be unable to complete standard dental regimens on their own or may feel heightened anxiety about the responsibility. In some cases, dental needs and medical problems may be intertwined, requiring the presence of both a medical doctor and a dentist. These cases require localized, comprehensive care, and a hospital dentist can provide this.
Hospital dentistry is practiced, as the name suggests, within the hospital in which the patient is receiving other medical treatment. You can find hospital dentists in private, non-profit and public hospitals. They treat both inpatients and outpatients depending on the needs of the individuals. Treatments range from short-term maintenance of oral health to long-term, reconstructive work or dento-facial surgery.
The dentists who work on call within hospitals have typically received training specifically in hospital dentistry or through hospital-based courses or residency programs. Often, they have additional training in oral surgery and medicine. This combination of experience and education enables them to understand the complexities of their patients’ needs and health goals.
If you have any questions about hospital dentistry or think that it may be necessary for you or for someone you love, please contact us.
Nitrous oxide, more commonly known as “laughing gas,” is often used as a conscious sedative during a dental visit. The gas is administered with a mixture of oxygen and has a calming effect that helps phobic or anxious patients relax during their dental treatment. Because it is a mild sedative, patients are still conscious and can talk to their dentist during their visit. After treatment, the nitrous is turned off and oxygen is administered for 5-10 minutes to help flush any remaining gas. The effects wear off almost immediately. Nitrous oxide rarely has side effects, although some patients may experience minor nausea and constipation. Your doctor will provide you with pre-and post-sedation instructions.