Sedation Dentistry refers to the application of tranquilizing and relaxing the patient before and during a dental procedure. The medications used are called sedatives and work by depressing the central nervous system, especially the areas concerned with conscious awareness. For people who fear or panic visits to the dentist, sedation can help reduce their level of anxiety, enabling them to calm down during the visit. These sedating agents are at times referred to as sleep dentistry though not all of the medications in this class cause sedation. Sedated patients remain awake unless they are under general anesthetics that induce loss of consciousness. There are different types of sedation that we apply in dentistry in order to relax our patients, and they include:
This process involves inhalation of small doses of a sedative to induce sedation. The popular sedative used for this purpose is usually nitrous oxide, also known as laughing gas. This gas is administered via a face mask usually placed over the nose of the patient and helps the patient to relax. We will regulate the amount of medication you receive, and the effect of the gas tends to wear off quickly.
Oral sedation includes minimal to moderate sedation while ingesting a sedative through the mouth. The most common used drug is Halcion which is typically taken one hour before the start of the dental procedure. Just like the gas, you will remain awake after taking the pill, but you will feel a bit drowsy. In some cases, patients when given oral sedation fall asleep but can be woken up by a slight shake.
Intravenous moderate sedation is administered via your veins. The effects of the drug via this method are usually very fast.General anesthesia is used to induce unconsciousness. The induction occurs because drugs depress the central nervous system and alter the level of consciousness. The effects of general anesthetics don’t wear off quickly, thus the patient cannot be woken up until the induction is over.
Despite the kind of sedation, you will be given some local anesthetics at the site of operation to relieve pain while we perform the procedure.
When you book your appointment with us, we will advise you on the appropriate sedative for your case and help you avoid any allergy complications.