Dental sedation is used to help patients relax during dental procedures. Usually, patients are awake except those who are under general anesthesia. The sedation levels used include the following.

  • Minimal sedation – Awake but relaxed.
  • Moderate sedation – The patient may have slur words when speaking and not remember much of the procedure.
  • Deep sedation – On the edge of consciousness but can still be awakened.
  • General anesthesia – The patient is completely unconscious.

It may sound scary for you, but let us first understand who are the patients that required it? Moreover, is it safe for everyone?

What Are The Types of Sedation in Dentistry?

Generally, there are four types of sedatives used in dentistry. Whatever type of sedation you are receiving, you will typically need a local anesthetic, numbing the area where the dentist works in the mouth.

1.Inhaled Minimal Sedation

You will breathe nitrous oxide or “laughing gas,” combined with oxygen through a mask over your nose. The gas offers relaxation, making you feel numb. Your dentist controls the amount of sedation to give you, depending on your condition, and the gas tends to wear off quickly compared to other types.

2.Oral Sedation

The oral sedation may vary from minimal to moderate, depending on the total dose given. You take a pill to minimal sedation. The medication is typically Halcion, a member of the same family of drugs as Valium, and you should take it about an hour before the procedure. The pill will make you tired, even if you’re still awake.

A more significant dose may be administered to produce moderate sedation. It is the most common type of anesthesia associated with dentistry sedation. Some people become groggy from mild oral sedation, resulting in falling asleep during the operation, but they can usually be awoken with a gentle shake.

3.IV Moderate Sedation 

You’re receiving the sedative drug into a vein, so it’s going to function quicker. This approach helps dentists to change the sedation level continuously.

4.Deep Sedation And General Anesthesia

You will get drugs that will either make you half or fully unconscious during the operation, as in deeply asleep. You can’t quickly be awakened while under general anesthesia until the anesthesia effects wear off or are reversed with medicine.

Who Can Have Sedation Dentistry?

Sedation is better suited for people with real fear or anxiety, which prevents them from going to the dentist. Dental sedation may also be ideal for people who feel the following.

  • Have a low pain threshold
  • Can’t sit still in the dentist’s chair
  • Have susceptible teeth
  • Bad gag reflex
  • Requiring a large amount of dental work

Do You Feel Pain With Sedation Dentistry?

Sedation dentistry uses a combination of sedation and anesthetics to keep you calm and free from pain throughout the entire operation. Most patients leave their therapy sessions with little or no recollection and feel fine afterward. There are different sedation dentistry choices, from inhalation sedation, oral sedation to IV sedation. All of these choices help reduce pain aversion.

How Safe Is Sedation Dentistry?

Anesthesia still runs some risks. Typically, it is safe when provided by experienced dentists. However, some people, such as those who are obese or have obstructive apnea for sleep, should speak to their doctor before sedation. It is because the complications from the anesthesia are more likely to occur. It’s crucial to ensure your dentist is trained and certified to prescribe the type of sedation you’re going to get. To be the right patient, you should make sure that you do the following things:

  • Your dentist should go back through medical history before the operation. Your dentist should decide whether you are the right candidate for sedation and inquire about any drugs you are currently taking.
  • You may ask which sedative dose matches your age and health. Also, you can inquire if this is inside the FDA prescribed dosage.
  • You should receive a form that details the procedural risks. Go carefully over this with your dentist. If you are confused about any of the words, ask questions.
  • During the operation, the dentist can control the vital signs, following the American Dental Association guidelines. Often, the dentist should have oxygen, artificial ventilation, and medications that reverse the sedation effects on hand in case you need it.

How Sedation Dentistry Works?

Sedation dentistry works in three ways – inhalation, by oral, and by IV. All three options are useful for managing dental distress and can be adjusted to suit your personal needs, often using a mixture of approaches.

Method 1 – Inhalation Sedation

The most widely used tool for relieving mild to moderate anxiety is nitrous oxide or laughing gas. This nitrous oxide and oxygen mixture has no color, no smell, and does not irritate your nose or mouth. After breathing in the gas for a few minutes, you’ll feel a relaxing sensation spread all over your body. Though entirely comfortable, you’ll still be fully conscious of your surroundings. Recovery is fast, so you can quickly resume your daily activities.

Method 2 – Oral Sedation

Oral sedation is a prevalent technique for dental sedation. It is simple and does not require needles to be used. You will be given a prescription pill, taken about an hour before your appointment, so you will be completely comfortable and ready to start your dental treatment by the time you arrive in our office. Usually, oral sedation in the form of anti-discomfort medication can alleviate any discomfort you may have about your visit. Because of the pill’s sedative aspect, you will need someone to accompany you to your appointment so that you won’t drive or commute alone.

Method 3 – IV Sedation

For some IV sedation cases, as mentioned above, patients are given a small pill to take about an hour before treatment. Every doctor’s strategy ensures the complete process of your treatment, from inserting the IV, prescribing the drug, controlling the sedation level to performing the dental procedure.

When the procedure is complete, you will have little or no appointment recollection and a lovely new face. With IV sedation dentistry, we can complete several procedures in only one office visit, including complicated smile makeovers and the most convenient for most patients.

If, at your next appointment, you believe you might benefit from sedation dentistry, please contact us and let us know how we can better meet your dental needs.