What Is Sedation Dentistry?

Do you feel tense and anxious when you step into a dental clinic? Dental Anxiety is a serious source of concern for many people. Sedation dentistry has the best solution for your dental fear and anxiety. Sedation is extensively used for different types of treatments ranging from simple tooth cleaning to invasive procedures.

What is sedation dentistry?

To help a patient feel relieved and relaxed during a dental procedure, sedation dentistry utilizes medications. The level of sedation varies based on the procedure performed. Under normal circumstances, patients stay awake if they are not under general anesthesia.

Learn about different types of sedation used by dentists

The first level is known as minimal sedation. When you are under this type of sedation, you are awake with a relaxed state of mind. Moderate sedation also known as conscious sedation is another type of sedation practiced by dentists. You may speak in vaguely under this sedation but, unable to remember clearly about this procedure. Deep sedation keeps you on the border of consciousness, but reasonably in an awakened state of mind. If you are under general anesthesia, you are unconscious completely.

Various types of methods used in sedation dentistry

Dentists make use of four different types of sedation in dentistry; namely oral sedation, IV moderate sedation, inhaled minimal sedation and deep sedation. The Richmond dentist decides the most suitable type based on the age, current health and dental procedure to be performed.

Oral sedation

The level of oral sedation can vary based on the dose recommenced. It ranges from minimal to moderate. A pill is given to a patient who is offered minimal sedation. The most common pill is known as Halcion, which belongs to the family of Valium. The dentist asks the patient to take this pill 60 minutes before the procedure. The patient stays awake, but with some drowsiness. For moderate sedation, the dose is increased. It can be described as a kind of anesthesia commonly linked with sedation dentistry. Some people may experience muzziness and fall asleep while performing the procedure. However, the patient can be awakened with a gentle shake.

IV moderate sedation

The IV moderate sedation is given as a sedative drug through a vein. The effect is faster compared to oral sedation. Dentists have the freedom to adjust the sedation level continuously.

Inhaled minimal sedation

This type of sedation asks the patient to breathe nitrous oxide in combination with oxygen with the help of a mask planted over your nose. Inhaled minimal sedation assists you in reaching a state of relaxation. The quantity of sedation is controlled by the dentist. The gas tails off faster. If you are given inhaled minimal sedation, you can go back home driving your car after the procedure.

Deep sedation

Deep sedation also known as general anesthesia makes you unconscious. Medications are given to help the patient reach the unconscious state. You are in a deep asleep under general anesthesia. Patients under deep sedation cannot be awakened easily. The patient comes back to a conscious level only when the anesthesia loses its effectiveness. In certain situations, medications are given to wear off the effects of sedation.

A local anesthetic is a basic requirement

Irrespective of the exact type of sedation a patient receives, he/she also requires a local anesthetic. It refers to a numbing medication at the exact location on the mouth where the dentist is planning to work. This method is recommended to reduce or eliminate pain if the procedure invites any type of discomfort to the patient.

Potential candidates for sedation dentistry

For any patient who is vulnerable to dental anxiety or fear, dentists recommend sedation. Unfortunately, many people don’t take any dental treatment due to their fear or anxiety. Dental sedation addresses their problems effectively. Sedation dentistry is also a good option for all people who have a reduced pain threshold. Dentists advocate the use of sedation for patients who have very sensitive teeth. Other potential candidates are people who need complex dental treatments and patients with a bad gag reflex.

Dentists often recommend sedation for children

Many children are often frightened and disturbed with the thought of visiting a dental clinic. They often refuse to cooperate during the procedure. In such a situation, dentists give sedation to calm them down. Inhaled minimal sedation is the most popular sedation method recommended for children. The process of administering nitrous oxide is very easy and it is a safe option as well. Under unique circumstances, children are given oral sedation. Oral sedation is also a very safe option when the dose kept within the prescribed dose based on the weight and age of the child.

Who handles the process of administering sedation?

Minimal sedation can be administered by most dentists. A specialist is not needed for sedation using nitrous oxide or pills. Moderate sedation is done by experienced and qualified dentists. When it comes to administering more complex sedation dentistry procedures, dentists, who completed the CODA (Commission on Dental Accreditation) program in general anesthesia and deep sedation, are required. It can be said that dentist anesthesiologists and oral and maxillofacial surgeons are best-qualified persons to administer all types and levels of sedation for adults as well as children.

What about the safety of sedation dentistry?

Although there is an element of risk in receiving anesthesia, patients don’t need to worry about any complications when administered by qualified and experienced dentists. If you are an obese person or one who is suffering from obstructive sleep apnea, you must consult with your doctor before accepting any type of sedation. These people are highly vulnerable to developing complications under sedation.

Qualified and experienced dentists always study the medical history of each patient and the existing medications taken before recommending treatments using sedation dentistry. The dose is kept within the recommendation based on the age and health of the patient. Responsible and reliable dentists give you a form detailing the risks involved with the procedure. If you have any questions regarding the treatment, you should talk to the dentist in detail. The fact of the matter is that sedation dentistry plays an important role in eliminating dental anxiety and motivates many people to take timely treatments to enhance their dental health.