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Types of Sedation Dentistry

by dymedev
March 30, 2022

Preventative care is an important part of your overall health. You can go to the doctor for physicals and bloodwork every year, but if you don't go to the dentist on a regular basis, you're missing out on an important part of health care.

Without good dental care, many people don't go to the dentist until there's already a problem with their teeth.

This is when things get a little more difficult and you often need sedation dentistry to fix them.

Defining the Terms in Sedation Dentistry

It's a term used in the medical field to describe any treatment that makes people feel more relaxed. The sedation methods used in each field are usually the same.

Some of them are general anesthesia, a minimal sedation technique that keeps the patient awake and alert, or deep sedation, which makes the patient completely sleepy.

Why Sedation is Necessary

The reason why your dentist wants to put you in a coma as part of your dental treatment is that there is a good reason for it. With some procedures, you don't need to be put to sleep. It's a safe and effective way to help you get through something that might be unpleasant or painful.

Without Sedatives, You Might Hurt Yourself

Without sedation, your natural instincts are to jerk and pull away, which makes it hard for the dentist and could even cause you to hurt yourself.

Sedation: The Basics

There are many different types of sedation dentistry, and your dentist will talk to you about each one when they meet with you. The level of sedation you need depends on a lot of things, like your medical history and the dental procedures you're having done.

A dentist must go through a lot of extra training in order to give sedation, and it's only used when a topical anesthetic doesn't work.

Unconscious Versus Conscious Sedation

A lot of the fear of sedation comes from stories and myths that people have heard. Let's take a look at why and when each type of dental sedation is appropriate.

Local Anesthesia

The first level of sedation that dentists think about is giving you a local anesthetic. This is usually used when people have dental problems because of things like cavities, crown placement or adjustment, root planing and scaling, or root canal and scaling.

A local anesthetic keeps you awake and aware. It makes the area that needs work numb. The numbness usually lasts for about half an hour to an hour at most.

Topical or Injectable Applications

This is used as a gel that is rubbed on your gums or injected into the gum area. As soon as you feel numb, it's time to start the dental work that's on the list.

General Anesthesia

General anesthesia can be used when more pain control is needed, or if a patient is afraid of the dental procedure that is going to be done. If you use this method of sedation dentistry, you will be able to go to sleep and be completely relaxed.

They usually use this type of sedation when they have to do a long procedure or do dental work that needs to be done very carefully. For complex dental work to be done, it's easier because the patient is completely unconscious during the whole procedure.

This kind of sedation is sometimes used for other reasons, too. When your anxiety is so bad that you can't stay still for a cavity sealant, general anesthetics can help.

Types of General Anesthesia

Most types of general anesthesia are given by dentists who know how to use IV sedation or a face mask. The anesthetic is kept at a steady level during the whole procedure. You'll be able to relax in the dental chair and breathe through a tube when you fall asleep.

If you need to have your wisdom teeth removed or have a tooth removed, you may be given general anesthesia.

Is a General Anesthetic Right For You?

There are some people who can't use this kind of sedation, like people with neurological problems or acid reflux. If you've had an allergic reaction to an anesthetic in the past, tell your dentist so they can make sure your sedation is right for you.

Nitrous Oxide Sedation

Nitrous oxide, on the other hand, is an inhaled method of minimal sedation. It's also known as "laughing gas," and it can help you relax if you're afraid or don't want to deal with an IV.

You breathe in oxygen mixed with nitrous oxide through the mask. The balance of gases is kept in check during the procedure to make sure you don't wake up. As soon as the medication wears off or you don't feel well, the dentist is aware of the signs and can add more laughing gas.

Most people don't know they've had the procedure until it's over. They may fall asleep, or they may not be able to wake up at all after they inhale the laughing gas. It doesn't work as long as you don't inhale it.

Oral Sedation

You can take oral sedatives if you don't need to be unconscious or if you are afraid of the procedure. A dentist can work on your teeth for hours with these drugs. You'll be able to be moderately sedated for that long.

Most dentists use Halcion, a drug that works in the same way as Valium. An hour before your procedure, you'll take your oral medicine, which will help you feel better. Then you'll start to feel completely relaxed and drowsy. It will still be possible to answer any questions and follow directions.

Oral sedatives can help you relax and relieve pain to a moderate degree. People who want to get dental work done should think about this oral conscious sedation. It's good for things like root canals. When you use this instead of laughing gas, it doesn't wear off quickly. You might need someone to drive you home after the dentist.

IV Sedation

IV sedation is the only type of sedation that can put you into a deep sleep that even the most aggressive actions can't wake you up from. It has the same drugs as oral sedation, but they're in the IV drip as well. It's not enough if you want to be unconscious to avoid dental anxiety or have a bad gag reflex. Moderate sedation won't do the job.

Afterward, the dentist will keep an eye on your vital signs and change the medicine if necessary.

Make an Appointment to Talk About Your Options

Sedation dentistry can be scary, but don't let that stop you from getting your teeth fixed. Your dentist can talk to you about the different types of sedation you can use.

Remember that whether you need moderate oral sedation, deep sedation, or something else is based on a lot of different things. "Worst-case scenario" options could be making their way into your head when they don't need to be there, so be careful.

Feel free to bring a list of questions and concerns with you to your meeting. Other people have, too!

Our Dentistry Procedures Are Safe and Approved

It's safe to say that any medication you're given has been approved by the FDA and the American Dental Association. The type you'll get will be based on your health, the procedure you're having, and your insurance.

We want to make sure you can take care of your dental needs safely and with as little pain as possible.

Because we care about your safety and comfort, we want to help you take care of your dental needs in the safest way possible. It's time to make an appointment for everything from sedation dentistry to preventative care to everything else.

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