Sedation Dentistry

Are you scared of visiting your local Delta dentist because you are worried about the pain associated with the procedures you require? People all over the world avoid their dentist like the plague and would rather deal with a lifetime of discomfort and poor oral hygiene than make a one hour visit to the dentist’s office. Why is this? Because they are scared of what their dental professional has in store for them. Is this rational? Of course, but the common perception of today’s dental work is simply incorrect. The common word association between dental work would be pain but in fact, many treatments today are completely painless! However, even though more and more people are beginning to realize this, many are still nervous about the procedures they need. This is when dentists can use sedation dentistry to ease the anxiety associated with dental work. Let’s explore the different kinds of sedation dentistry, what it is, and how it works.

The different levels of oral sedation

Oral sedation dentistry begins with entry-level minimal sedation. This kind of sedation is defined by the patient being awake but relaxed. It the progresses to moderate sedation (conscious sedation), where the patient may slur words and may not remember much of the treatment. The third progression is deep sedation. Deep sedation puts the patient on the edge of consciousness with the ability to still be awakened. The last and less common form of oral sedation is general anesthesia. This type of sedation involves the patient being completely unconscious.

The different types of oral sedation in dentistry

Inhaled minimal sedation: The patient will inhale nitrous oxide combined with oxygen (laughing gas) through a mask placed over the nose. The gas helps the patient relax and the flow of gas is completely controlled by the dental professional. This is the only form of sedation where the patient may drive himself or herself home following treatment.

Oral sedation: Oral application is used for minimal to moderate sedation, depending on the dosage. For minimal sedation, the patient may take a pill. Most likely, this pill will be Halcion, part of the same family as Valium, and taken one hour before the procedure. The pill will make the patient drowsy and may be used for moderate sedation if the dose is increased. This type of anesthesia is the most common form of sedation dentistry.

IV moderate sedation: This type of sedation involves the patient receiving a sedative drug through a vein. It works more quickly and the dental professional may continually adjust the level of sedation.

Deep sedation and general anesthesia: This type of sedation involves the patient taking medication that will make them unconscious or almost unconscious. While under general anesthesia, the patient will not be easily awakened.

If you are scared of an upcoming treatment or procedure, ask you dentist what types of sedation dentistry he or she offers and what kind might be right for you. Sedation will help you relax and make your next dental procedure a breeze!