Types of Sedation Used in Dentistry

Types of Sedation Used in Dentistry

Feb 01, 2020

Sedation in dentistry is a means of ensuring that patients relax throughout their treatment. It involves using different medications to induce a patient into a state of comfort and relaxation. Most of the patients that are sedated before their procedure require the medication because of dental anxiety.

Dental anxiety is a common phenomenon in dentistry, where patients have fears over what will happen to them. Most of the anxiety is informed by previous bad experiences. For others, the fear of the unknown is perceived as painful and scary. However, if you talk to your dentist about your phobias when it comes to dental works, you find that there is a solution, through sedation services.

More About Sedation for Dental Works

Sedation works by tricking the mind and body into an awareness of comfort and relaxation. This allows a patient to remain calm during intense dental works. This, however, does not limit sedation to only intense dental works. Sedatives are used for an array of dental processes, ranging from surgical interventions to simple processes like dental bonding works.

The consideration of which sedative to use on a patient often lies in the hands of the dentist in charge. Ideally, he/she determines the type of sedative based on the health analysis of the patient, the type of dental work being performed, the duration of the treatment, to mention a few.

Levels of Sedation

Before we look at the types of sedation, you must understand a thing or two about the levels there are. Sedatives are given at different levels, depending on your doctor’s analysis of how much of it you need. The levels can be controlled during a procedure, to ensure it is not too overwhelming. Overall, the idea of sedation is to make sure you do not snap out of the ‘relaxed zone’ in the middle of dental work. After your procedure, the medication should wear off so you can resume your normal state. The different levels of sedation include:

  • Minimal sedation – ensures your relaxation. You are usually awake throughout the process.
  • Moderate sedation – it allows you to be fully relaxed and conscious of the dental works. However, you may have slurred words and remember only parts of the process.
  • Deep sedation – relaxes you completely, but throws you on the edge of consciousness. Some patients fall asleep at this level.
  • General anesthesia – ensures total loss of consciousness during the dental works. Some patients may even have a hard time snapping out of the deep sleep after the procedure.

Types of Sedation Used in Dentistry

The different types of sedation can be used on different levels to achieve the intended goal. It means that the dental expert in charge of your treatment can increase or decrease the concentration of our medication. The types are:

  • Inhaled sedation – the sedative is passed through breathing in gas. The gas used in the laughing gas, often, in combination with oxygen. A face mask is placed over your head so you can inhale the gas. It is mostly used for minimal and moderate levels of sedation. It is a preferable means of sedating because the effects of the laughing gas wear off quickly. Most patients are even fit for driving right after the treatment.
  • Oral sedation – the medication is offered in tablet form as a pill. The pill is given an hour before any dental works begin so you have ample time to get drowsy and relaxed. It is the most in sedation dentistry and is used for moderate sedation.
  • IV moderate sedation – it is a speedy way of sedating patients. Usually, an injection s used to drive in the sedative medication straight into your veins. It works fast because the veins allow the medication into your bloodstream immediately. The dental expert adjusts the level of sedation as he/she works on your mouth. It can be used for moderate or deep sedation, depending on the amount allowed into your bloodstream.
  • General anesthesia – is used for intense surgical procedures. However, given that it deeply sedates patients, it is not highly encouraged. Some patients even have a hard time waking up from the deep sleep before the sedative wears off completely. For such, another medication is given to reverse the effects of the sedative.

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