- by Dr. Karanjit Dhillon
- August 12, 2022
Sedation Dentistry- An Introduction
Sedation dentistry is a branch of dentistry that enables patients to feel calm, relaxed and at ease during their dental procedures and surgeries.
Involving a normal level of sedation helps to keep the patient technically awake, inducing a calm feeling of relaxation, at the same time.
It is also termed conscious sedation dentistry or “twilight sleep” sometimes, as it establishes a state of short-term amnesia in patients experiencing insensitivity to pain without any loss of consciousness.
Sedation Dentistry has become one of the most popular dental treatments as it allows people suffering from dental anxiety a choice of relaxing through dental procedures.
Primarily focused on relieving anxiety and pain with the help of sedation, sedation dentistry is mainly of three types, with all having their special place. The right choice is based on the patient’s medical history & other factors.
Who can Benefit from Sedation Dentistry?
Usually, suggested branch dentistry for people of all ages, Sedation Dentistry is beneficial for patients with:
- Dental anxiety and fear of dental treatments
- Hypersensitive gag reflex.
- Apprehension about needles
- Severe tooth sensitivity.
- A feeling of Claustrophobia when in the dental chair.
- Inability to control movements.
- Special needs patients
Different types of Sedation Dentistry
Different levels of sedation dentistry are based and decided on the patient’s subjective requirements and various other aspects including the level of patient’s anxiety, duration of the procedure, health history and personal choices.
Nitrous oxide, oral conscious sedation and intravenous (IV) sedation are the most popular choices in this branch of dentistry which is focused on providing patients with a relaxed and pain-free dental experience.
Usually recommended as the best choice for people with relatively low anxiety levels, Nitrous oxide is given as inhalation through a mask or a nosepiece.
It is also known as a ‘laughing gas, and its steadying effects begin within a few minutes. The amount of sedation is controlled by the dentist as the patient receives the sedation and the dosage is modified accordingly during the procedure or surgery.
With this sedation, the patient is awake but extremely relaxed throughout the procedure.
Our team of sedation dentistry experts at Morgan Hill Dentistry explain that after the procedure is over, pure oxygen is used to flush out the nitrous oxide from the system.
It can leave the system so quickly, that our patients can drive themselves back home just after the treatment.
Oral Conscious Sedation
This kind of sedation involves giving a sedation medication, about an hour prior to the beginning of the procedure, usually in the form of a pill.
The medicines usually used to induce oral sedation are triazolam, zaleplon and lorazepam. However, Jn pediatric dentistry liquid sedation like midazolam oral syrup is used.
A low dosage of oral sedation helps to induce a low or moderate level of sedation. The patient, though conscious throughout, usually does not remember much of the procedure.
A groggy feeling or falling asleep during the procedure is also reported in many patients with oral sedation.
However, the patients can communicate, if needed with the dentist and can be awakened with a gentle nudge.
It is imperative to mention here that the memory and motor skills can be temporarily affected and the patients may need assistance to be driven home after the procedure.
So if your dentist has planned oral sedation for you, it’s always advisable to get a friend or a family member along for the procedure.
Intravenous (IV) Sedation
People who are overcome with severe dental anxiety and uneasiness when scheduled for lengthy treatments are the best candidates for the most intense form of conscious sedation available in a dental office setting, called IV Sedation.
The fastest method of sedation involves direct administration of the sedative medications in the bloodstream through an IV line.
Constant monitoring of heart rate, blood pressure and oxygen throughout the procedure, the adjustment of dosage when needed and the use of reversal medications, if and when necessary is done by our expert team throughout the procedure.
The patient falls asleep during the procedure and there is no recollection of the treatment when one wakes up.
Can General Anaesthesia be also used in Dentistry?
The dental procedure and conditions may sometimes make general anaesthesia a necessity, particularly when the procedure is performed on young children, adults with special needs or people with extreme dental anxiety and discomfort.
However, advanced and specialised training of the dentist or engagement of an expert anesthesiologist is mandatory to induce this kind of sedation.
What is the Procedure of Sedation Dentistry?
Before the Surgery
Sedation Dentistry is a vital part of important dental procedures so it’s extremely important for the dentist to discuss the sedation options during the initial consultation with the patient.
Our team at Morgan Hill Dentistry holds a detailed discussion of the patient’s health history, asking about any medications or supplements being taken by the patient.
The sedation options are then discussed and recommendations are made based on the patient’s specific needs.
Not eating or drinking anything for at least six hours before the dental appointment is advised.
If the patient is taking any blood thinners, then they must inform the dentist about them, as these may be needed to be skipped for a few days before the procedure.
During Sedation Dentistry
The family dentist gives sedation medicines before beginning the procedure. Whatever method of sedation is being used, a local anaesthetic to numb the teeth and gums is also applied, once the patient is feeling relaxed with the sedatives having been given.
Sedation dentistry makes it possible for the whole procedure to be an extremely comfortable and simple experience, giving the patient the convenience of relaxing in the chair, dreaded and feared.
Sedation dentistry is allowing more and more patients a relaxed and comfortable experience during major dental procedures.
Patients with high levels of anxiety, kids and those with special needs particularly benefit from this limb of dentistry.
There are quite a few options of sedation available to the patients according to their unique needs and medical history.
Nitrous oxide and oral sedation are considered ideal options for patients with a fear of needles and the other methods can be used in patients with high levels of anxiety.
At Morgan Hill Dentistry, our doctors are effectively and painlessly treating patients and performing tedious procedures without any discomfort to the patients, with the help of Sedation Dentistry.
So do not put that essential dental treatment any longer. Book an appointment today.