Sedation Dentistry

Sedation Dentistry2018-11-19T07:26:55+00:00

SEDATION DENTISTRY

Does your body tense with fear at the thought of having your teeth cleaned by a dentist? Would you prefer to endure the pain of a toothache to visiting a dentist for dental care? If you answer are YES! Then you are not alone. Most people like you are so fearful about visiting a dentist and would rather endure pains than receive any dental treatment.

However, here is a good news for you if you avoid dentists like the plague. Sedation dentistry may be your best option to take away some of their fears. Sedation dentistry can be used for several functions ranging from tooth cleaning to invasive procedures. How you wish to use sedation is dependent on how fearful you are. If you are hearing about sedation dentistry for the first time, here are some basic fact that may add to our knowledge about sedation dentistry.

What Is Sedation Dentistry?

Sedation dentistry involves the use of medication to help patients to relax in the course of dental treatment. Some people refer to Sedation dentistry as sleep dentistry, though that is not completely right as patients ‘may’ not sleep but stay unconscious during the dental procedures. Patients under general anesthesia may sleep off. Sedation dentistry comes in various levels, such as:

Minimal sedation: the patient stays awake but in a relaxed state.

Moderate sedation: this is initially known as ‘conscious sedation.’ In this case, the patient slurs words when speaking and would not remember much about how the treatment was carried out.

Deep sedation: this is a little deeper, the patient is only slight conscious but may still be awake.

General anesthesia: in this case, the patient is completely unconscious and may be in a sleeping state.

What Is Sedation Dentistry?

Sedation dentistry involves the use of medication to help patients to relax in the course of dental treatment. Some people refer to Sedation dentistry as sleep dentistry, though that is not completely right as patients ‘may’ not sleep but stay unconscious during the dental procedures. Patients under general anesthesia may sleep off. Sedation dentistry comes in various levels, such as:

Minimal sedation: the patient stays awake but in a relaxed state.

Moderate sedation: this is initially known as ‘conscious sedation.’ In this case, the patient slurs words when speaking and would not remember much about how the treatment was carried out.

Deep sedation: this is a little deeper, the patient is only slight conscious but may still be awake.

General anesthesia: in this case, the patient is completely unconscious and may be in a sleeping state.

What Form of Sedation Are Normally Used in Dentistry?

Now that you know about sedation dentistry and all its different levels, it is important that you know the various form of sedation dentistry:

Inhaled minimal sedation: in this case, the patient breathes in Nitrous Oxide (N2O) – a sweet-smelling, colorless, and non-flammable gas otherwise known as “laughing gas” – mixed with Oxygen (O2) via a nose mask. Inhaling this gas helps the patient to relax. The amount of sedation the patients receives can be controlled by the dentist. More so, the potency of the gas tends to fade quickly, this means the patient would quickly get out of sedation. This form of sedation allows a patient to drive him/herself back home from the dental office.

Oral sedation: oral sedation ranges from minimal sedation to moderate depending on the total dose of medication given to the patient. For minimal sedation, the patient only needs to take a pill, usually ‘Halcion’ – which is from the same drug family as Valium. Halcion is ingested about an hour before the commencement of dental procedures. After ingestion, the pill makes the patient drowsy, though still awake. For moderate sedation, a larger dose of the pill may be given. Moderate sedation is the type of anesthesia commonly associated with sedation dentistry. In this case, the patient becomes groggy and may actually fall asleep during dental treatment. Though the patient can be easily awakened by a gentle shake.

IV sedation: this is known as intravenous sedation where the patient receives the sedative pill via the vein. Receiving the pill via the vein makes it work faster. IV sedation allows the dentist to adjust the level of sedation continually.

Deep sedation and general anesthesia: in this form of sedation, the patient is given the kind of medications that will make him/her remain slightly conscious, go almost unconscious or completely unconscious i.e. fall into a deep sleep during the dental treatment. Under this form, the patient cannot be woken up easily until the effect of the administered drug fades off completely, sometimes medication can be given to the patient to reverse the effect.

Irrespective of the form of sedation that the patient request for or receive, he/she would still be given a local anesthesia – this is a numbing medication administered exactly at the spot where the dental treatment would be carried out in the mouth. This is done to relieve the patient of pain in case the dental procedure causes any discomfort.

What Form of Sedation Are Normally Used in Dentistry?

Now that you know about sedation dentistry and all its different levels, it is important that you know the various form of sedation dentistry:

Inhaled minimal sedation: in this case, the patient breathes in Nitrous Oxide (N2O) – a sweet-smelling, colorless, and non-flammable gas otherwise known as “laughing gas” – mixed with Oxygen (O2) via a nose mask. Inhaling this gas helps the patient to relax. The amount of sedation the patients receives can be controlled by the dentist. More so, the potency of the gas tends to fade quickly, this means the patient would quickly get out of sedation. This form of sedation allows a patient to drive him/herself back home from the dental office.

Oral sedation: oral sedation ranges from minimal sedation to moderate depending on the total dose of medication given to the patient. For minimal sedation, the patient only needs to take a pill, usually ‘Halcion’ – which is from the same drug family as Valium. Halcion is ingested about an hour before the commencement of dental procedures. After ingestion, the pill makes the patient drowsy, though still awake. For moderate sedation, a larger dose of the pill may be given. Moderate sedation is the type of anesthesia commonly associated with sedation dentistry. In this case, the patient becomes groggy and may actually fall asleep during dental treatment. Though the patient can be easily awakened by a gentle shake.

IV sedation: this is known as intravenous sedation where the patient receives the sedative pill via the vein. Receiving the pill via the vein makes it work faster. IV sedation allows the dentist to adjust the level of sedation continually.

Deep sedation and general anesthesia: in this form of sedation, the patient is given the kind of medications that will make him/her remain slightly conscious, go almost unconscious or completely unconscious i.e. fall into a deep sleep during the dental treatment. Under this form, the patient cannot be woken up easily until the effect of the administered drug fades off completely, sometimes medication can be given to the patient to reverse the effect.

Irrespective of the form of sedation that the patient request for or receive, he/she would still be given a local anesthesia – this is a numbing medication administered exactly at the spot where the dental treatment would be carried out in the mouth. This is done to relieve the patient of pain in case the dental procedure causes any discomfort.

Who Can Undergo Sedation Dentistry?

Basically, sedation dentistry is very useful for patients who are being prevented by fear and anxiety from visiting the dentist for their ill dental health. However, sedation dentistry may as well be used for a patient: who cannot sit still in the dentist’s chair, who has a bad gag reflex, who has a low pain threshold, who has very sensitive teeth, and who needs lots of dental work to be carried out.

Sometimes, sedation dentistry is also administered to little children who are terrified of going to the dental office or who do not cooperate with the dentist during the visit. Nitrous oxide seems to be the safest form of sedation for little children, and it can be administered to children by any dentist. Though oral sedation too can be safe if the medication is kept within the recommended dosage applicable to the child’s weight and age.

How Safe Is Sedation Dentistry?

Now you’ve known much about sedation dentistry and may wish to experience one, but here comes the question “how safe is sedation dentistry?” Actually, there is virtually nothing that doesn’t involve risk, so also sedation dentistry has its own share of risk. Though, if administered by experienced dentists, it is usually safe. Irrespective of the experience of the dentist, certain patients like obese patients or those who experience obstructive sleep apnea, must consult their doctors before they undergo sedation dentistry, this is because they may likely end up developing complications from the sedation.

More so, before undergoing sedation, ensure that the dentist is both qualified and well-trained to administer the form of sedation you’re receiving.

Can Any Dentist Perform Sedation?

Actually, almost all dentists can perform the inhaled or oral minimal sedation i.e. nitrous oxide or pills. More dentists are getting trained to handle moderate sedation. While only a few dentists who must have finished the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA) program in deep sedation and general anesthesia can administer the more complex form of sedation. These class of dentists is usually dentist anesthesiologists, oral surgeon, and maxillofacial surgeons. Each state has its dental board who regulates the use of sedation dentistry. Some of them require that a dentist hold permits in order to administer sedation dentistry.

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