Sedation Dentistry for Diabetics

Patients with type 1 and type 2 diabetes often have difficulty finding a dentist willing to provide sedation dentistry in order to perform such procedures as root canals and extractions.

Other sedation options, such as local injections or nitrous oxide, are relatively simple to get as most dentists are confident in giving these to diabetic patients. This is because the patient is still conscious and able to communicate in the event of a drop in blood sugar levels.

Low blood sugar is dangerous. It can result in seizures and death if not treated. Low blood sugar in diabetics is the result of insufficient glucose in the blood, either because the diabetic patient administered too much insulin or because the patient did not consume enough glucose to replenish their glucose levels.

While local and moderation sedation are straightforward in getting from a regular dentist, diabetics often cannot find a dentist willing to provide general sedation. As a result, many diabetics either avoid undergoing intensive dental treatments or suffer through the pain of these procedures with insufficient sedation.

Ask a diabetic who has undergone wisdom tooth extraction while moderately sedated, and they’ll likely tell you they’d never want to do it again.

Why are most dentists unwilling to administer general sedation?

Unlike the other two forms of sedation dentistry, general sedation results in the patient being completely unconscious. Because of this, if the patient’s blood sugar drops, the patient is not able to communicate this to the dentist. And the dentist, who is already occupied performing dental work, cannot easily monitor the patient’s glucose levels.

The solution to this issue is to have an anesthesiologist present during the procedure. An anesthesiologist’s job during such a procedure is to monitor the patient’s vital signs, such as heart rate, rhythm, breathing, blood pressure, and body temperature. The anesthesiologist can also monitor the patient’s blood sugar if he is informed the patient is diabetic prior to the procedure.

So where can you find a dentist who has an anesthesiologist on staff?

If you’re in Texas, the answer is simple: Believe Dental.

We have offices in Houston, San Antonio, and Austin, all with anesthesiologists on staff.

Don’t go through another dental procedure while conscious.

Give us a call or fill out this form to schedule an appointment.

If you know a diabetic, be sure to send them our information.