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Sedation Dentistry- Types and Procedure

February 4, 2022

What is Sedation Dentistry?

A branch of dentistry that helps patients feel calm, comfortable and relaxed during dental procedures is known as Sedation Dentistry.

It involves a moderate level of sedation, keeping the patient technically awake but with a feeling of calm and relaxation. 

It is also sedation dentistry sometimes as it creates a state of short-term amnesia where one experiences insensitivity to pain without the loss of consciousness.

Providing the people who suffer from dental anxiety a choice of alleviating their fear during a treatment, Sedation dentistry has become one of the most popular dental treatments in Canada. 

Focused on relieving stress and pain through sedation, the three types of sedation dentistry, all have their specific place.

The patient’s medical history and other factors determine the right choice.

Who Can Benefit from Sedation Dentistry?

Sedation Dentistry is often a recommended branch for people of all ages with the following issues and concerns like

  • Dental anxiety.
  • Fear of visiting the dentist.
  • Oversensitive gag reflex.
  • Fear of needles 
  • Extreme tooth sensitivity.
  • The claustrophobic feeling while in the dental chair.
  • Difficulty in controlling movements.
  • Patients with special needs 

Types of Sedation Dentistry

Varying levels of sedation dentistry are based on the patient’s unique needs and various factors include the level of patient’s anxiety, the length of the procedure, patient’s health history and personal preferences.

The most popular types of sedation dentistry are nitrous oxide, oral conscious sedation and intravenous (IV) sedation.

Nitrous Oxide

Perfect for people with mild levels of anxiety,  Nitrous oxide is inhaled as in normal breathing through a mask or a nosepiece.

Also known as ‘laughing gas’, its calming effects begin within three to five minutes.

The dentist controls the amount of sedation the patient receives and modifies dosages accordingly throughout the procedure or surgery.

The patient is awake but extremely relaxed during the procedure.

Pure oxygen is given to flush the nitrous oxide out of the system as soon as the procedure is over.

The laughing gas leaves the system so quickly, that the patients are even able to drive themselves home after the procedure.

Also Read: What to Eat After a Dental Implant Surgery

Oral Sedation Dentistry

Oral sedation means a sedative medication usually given in form of a pill about an hour before your procedure begins.

Dentists usually use triazolam, zaleplon and lorazepam to induce oral sedation. Liquid sedation like midazolam oral syrup is used in pediatric sedation dentistry. 

A low dosage induces low or moderate sedation with which one does not remember much of the procedure even though conscious.

Patients sometimes feel very groggy and may fall asleep with Oral sedation.

However, they can communicate with their dentist if necessary and are awakened with a gentle nudge.

It can temporarily affect the memory and motor skills, and the patients need assistance from a friend or family member to drive them home after the procedure.

Both nitrous oxide and oral sedation are ideal options for patients with a phobia of needles.

IV Sedation Dentistry or Intravenous Sedation

An ideal option for people with extreme dental anxiety or those scheduled for lengthy procedures, the deepest form of conscious sedation available in a dental office setting is called IV Sedation.

In this fastest method of sedation, the sedative medications are directly administered in the patient’s bloodstream through an IV line. 

The heart rate, blood pressure and oxygen levels are monitored throughout the procedure and the dosage is adjusted when needed and reversal medications can be used if necessary.

The patient falls asleep and there is no memory of the treatment on waking up. 

Use of General Anesthesia in Dentistry

Sometimes a dental procedure and conditions may make General anesthesia a necessity especially when testing young children, adults with special needs or people with severe dental anxiety.

A type of unconscious sedation, it makes the patient completely unconscious during the procedure.

The dentist must possess advanced, specialized training or an anesthesiologist is engaged to provide this type of anesthesia.

Procedure Details

Before the Surgery

The dentist discusses the sedation options during the initial consultation with the patient.

This includes a complete discussion of the patient’s health history and any medications or supplements.

The sedation recommendations are made after gathering all the information based on the patient’s specific needs.

The patient is advised not to eat or drink anything for at least six hours before the dental appointment. 

The patients should make sure to inform their dentist if they are taking any blood thinners as the dentist may ask them to skip these medications for a few days before the procedure.

During Sedation Dentistry

Sedative medications are given by the dentist before beginning the procedure.

Irrespective of the method being used, a local anesthetic to numb the teeth and gums is applied usually once the patient is already feeling relaxed from the sedatives.

The whole procedure becomes a very comfortable and easy experience with the help of sedation dentistry, as it allows the patient the convenience of relaxing in that dreaded chair.

Bottom Line

Sedation dentistry has changed the way patients view long and tedious dental procedures. Patients with anxiety especially benefit from this branch of dentistry.

So, if you have been putting off a dental problem for fear of pain and discomfort of dental procedure, it is time to make an appointment at Kirkland Premier Dentistry where our doctors are effectively and painlessly treating patients with help of Sedation Dentistry.

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