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Different Options for Sedation Dentistry
Several sedation dentistry options are available to patients who experience anxiety or fear. During a dental appointment, the dentist will consider many factors, including oral health needs and medical history, to know which option would be more effective. The goal is to induce a state of relaxation to ease the fear and anxiety of patients undergoing a dental procedure.
Sedation dentistry options
Most dentists offer three major forms of dental sedation, including nitrous oxide gas, intravenous (IV) sedation and oral conscious sedation. The dentist may combine two options depending on the nature of the dental procedure and the severity of the patient's anxiety. A local anesthetic might be administered to numb the soft tissues close to the treatment area.
Also known as laughing gas, nitrous oxide is the most common form of sedation used by dentists during dental procedures. They will place a small inhaler mask over the patient's nose to deliver a mix of oxygen and nitrous oxide. Patients will be able to react to cue from the dentist and remain completely aware of the treatment progress, although in a fully calm state.
Inhalation sedation is an excellent choice for patients with mild to moderate levels of dental fear. It also lowers or stops gagging in people with an extreme gag reflex. There is no recovery period because the effects of the gas wear off as soon as the mask is taken off.
Oral dental sedation (Anxiolysis)
With oral dental sedation, patients will get a relaxed, comfortable and safe experience with minimal or no anxiety. The aim is not to induce sleep as one will still be aware of the events occurring around; however, with this option, patients will feel as if they are having a pleasant and relaxing rest throughout the procedure. During the initial consultation with the dentist, there will be a discussion regarding the most suitable oral medication, considering medical history, the required dental procedures and the estimated length of treatment.
Patients will receive instructions to follow before and after the appointment to ensure a safe and effective experience with sedation dentistry. In this case, patients will need to arrange for transportation back home or be accompanied by a responsible adult to help during the first few hours after the treatment until full recovery.
Intravenous (IV) dental sedation
With intravenous (IV) dental sedation, antianxiety and anesthesia medications are injected directly into the bloodstream. The patient will feel relaxed and at ease almost immediately. The dental professional will continue to monitor them for comfort and safety as with other types of sedation, a local anesthetic will also be administered to ensure full comfort during the procedure.
For safety reasons, patients will need to have someone drive them to and from the dental office and supervise them for at least 24 hours. The dentist will provide additional instructions during the consultation, which must be followed.
The dentist will choose the type of sedation after considering several factors. If you need more information about sedation dentistry, contact the dental office to book a consultation appointment with the general dentist.
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