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How Does Sedation Dentistry Work? What is Sedation Dentistry

what is sedation dentistrySedation dentistry is the use of a sedating medication during a dental procedure.  The sedative medication can be delivered by mouth, as an inhalation gas or by way of an IV. The level of dental fear among other factors dictates the  route of dental sedative drugs, the kind and amount of sedative drugs. Sometimes multiple drugs will be used. The goal of the dental anesthesiologist is to keep the patient calm and comfortable throughout the procedure.

Oral Sedation

Most commonly, a pill or oral sedative such as valium or diazepam may be used by a dentist who sedates for dental work.  Oral sedatives are more commonly used for cases of mild anxiety by a oral sedation dentist.  Some oral sedatives can achieve moderate states of sedation, but the dosages are not consistent patient to patient and it can take a lot of time administering multiple doses attempting to reach the desired level of dental sedation.

Dental Laughing Gas or Nitrous Oxide Sedation

Sedation dentistry can also be achieved with a gas such as nitrous oxide aka laughing gas.  Nitrous oxide dental gas is a very effective sedative in dentistry and is very useful for cases of mild to moderate anxiety.  Nitrous oxide (aka dental laughing gas) also sets in very quickly and also wears off very quickly with no hang over effect for the patient. Dental gas is very practical because is very safe, effective and people can drive home because nitrous oxide wears off very quickly.

IV Full Dental Sedation

For cases of moderate to severe anxiety, difficulty getting numb and gagging, IV sedation dentistry is the most predictable choice for the sleep dentist.  The desired level of sedation can be reached very quickly, safely and changes to the level of sedation can be adjusted very quickly as necessary.  For treatment that is complex and takes a long time, dentistry that would normally take several visits can be accomplished comfortably while the anxious patient sleeps hence the term sleep dentistry.  Patients who accept sedation dentistry with complex treatment plans can have several dental visits combined into one long appointment by a sedation dentist.  In some cases 2-5 visits worth of dental treatment can be performed by a sedation dentist in one visit.  Patients who are busy can save lots of time, have a better experience and save lots of money. Often times, in complex cases the dental sedation fees may be included in the case.

What Is Sedation Dentistry?

what is sedation dentistryOver 50% of people suffer from some form of dental phobia or fear of the dentist. One of the major reasons behind abscessed teeth and other dental conditions, is late presentation of the patient for dental check ups and consultations. You must think it as negligence on part of the person, but fear of visiting the dental office is a bigger reason these days. People bear extreme pain and discomfort, but refrain from visiting dental health care providers due to dental phobia.

If you have ever experienced fear of dental treatment, you need to read the following content for getting timely dental treatments in the future.

What Are The Different Techniques Used For Achieving Pain Free Dental Treatments?

  1. Conventional methods of eliminating and reducing pain during dental treatments in the dental office are,
  • Use of painkillers & pain reducing medications,
  • Use Local anesthesia,
  • Use of General anesthesia.

What Are The Limitations Of Traditional Methods?

  1. Following are the various limitations associated with older traditional methods,
  • Painkillers are quite useful and effective in minimizing minor pain during and after getting dental treatments in the dental office. However, these medications are unable to maintain pain free area during surgical procedures,
  • Local anesthesia does not produce & maintain painless field of operation in cases of dental infection and tooth abscess
  • Local anesthesia requires pricking of needles and patients with needle phobia avoid it,
  • Needle can accidentally get injected in blood vessels causing serious systemic side effects,
  • Self inflicted injuries, allergy, hematoma or bruise formation, oral ulcers and limited mouth opening can occur after use of local anesthesia,
  • General anesthesia causes loss of consciousness and majority avoids it for dental treatments.

What Is Meant By Conscious Sedation?

Conscious sedation is basically a type of technique which is used by your dentist to reduce stress, pain and discomfort during different dental treatment procedures in your mouth. You will remain conscious and well-oriented while getting your teeth filled or cleaned. Conscious sedation will eliminate your fear of going to the dental office for various dental treatments. Infants and kids get special benefit from this technique for saving baby teeth which are very important for healthy permanent teeth to come in the mouth in future.

How Will You Perform Conscious Sedation For My Dental Treatment?

Conscious sedation is usually performed either with the help of intravenous sedative agents, oral sedative medications or with the help of using specifically designed equipment which releases minimum required amount of nitrous oxide gas.

Which Type Of Conscious Sedation Is Most Frequently Used In Dentistry?

Inhalation nitrous oxide conscious dental gas sedation is most commonly used for eliminating dental phobia in dental clinics especially for old aged individuals and young children.

Which Type Of Gas Is Used For Providing Inhalation Conscious Sedation?

Nitrous Oxide and Oxygen (“laughing gas”) is usally used for providing inhalational conscious sedation for dental treatments. Approximately 35% of all US dentists offer Nitrous Oxide Sedation to their patients in their practices.

Is Sedation Dentistry Really Relaxation Dentistry?

Conscious sedation will provide you the best feeling of relaxation and comfort during your visit to the dentist for dental fillings or cleaning of teeth. If you suffer from dental phobia, you do not need to worry anymore.

Which Conditions Necessitate Nitrous Oxide Dental Gas Sedation?

Nitrous oxide conscious sedation is specifically helpful for providing dental and oral care to patients feeling fear and discomfort in the dental chair. It can be used in the following cases,

  • Extremely anxious and tense patients,
  • Persons feeling dental anxiety & stress,
  • Mildly anxious children,
  • Managing feeling of gag during oral care,
  • Treatment of oral traumatic procedures,
  • Medically compromised and unfit patients,
  • Patients who suffer from fear of needle prick,
  • Patients with the history of an unpleasant dental appointment in the past,
  • When a person does not want to undergo complete sleep as in general anesthesia.

Why Nitrous Oxide Gas Sedation Is Best For Mild to Moderate Patients?

Nitrous oxide conscious sedation has been very popular among dental patients. People feel relax and immediately provide consent even for removal of wisdom teeth when they find out about the availability of conscious sedation in the dental office. Following are the different reasons for their trust in this technique,

  • Simple and safe procedure,
  • Does not need any needle prick,
  • Provides relaxation within quick time and you will recover quickly once dental treatment is finished,
  • Ease of monitoring in the dental clinic,
  • Allows easy regulation of depth of anesthesia,
  • Produces moderate degree of anesthesia,
  • Extremely safe procedure for persons with heart conditions or Diabetes Mellitus,
  • Minimal or no abnormal interactions with other medications in use,
  • You can easily communicate pain, discomfort or any unpleasant feeling experienced during treatment under conscious sedation to your dentist,
  • you will be able to speak and respond to verbal cues throughout the procedure under conscious sedation
  • an awareness of surroundings during the whole procedure builds confidence in treatment procedure as well as the dental health care provider,
  • multiple dental treatments such as filling of teeth, root canal treatments and cleaning can be provided in a single sitting in the dental chair under nitrous oxide conscious sedation,

What If A Nasal Hood Is not Possible and Needle Pricks Can Not be Tolerated?

Some people do not like to be put in the dental chair with the nasal hood on their face for providing nitrous oxide conscious sedation. Similarly, people refrain from being pricked with needles for intravenous sedation.

Oral medications which provide conscious sedation are the best solution in such cases. These drugs have a deep pain relieving, sedative and amnesic effect on the patients. The amnesic effect is especially helpful as the patient does not remember anything about the treatment done.

Some people prefer this effect as they do not want to recall drilling and feeling of instruments in their mouth. Furthermore, Intravenous sedation needs specialized training and certification it is not used in most general dental clinics.