Sedation is the process of establishing a relaxed, easy and calm state through the use of sedatives. Sedative drugs like depressants, tranquillizers, anti-anxiety medications, nitrous oxide, can be administered in many ways. Previously, intravenous (IV) sedation i.e sedatives delivered through an injection into the blood vessels of the hand or arm was more commonly used to sedate a dental patient.
Intravenous sedation is very safe and efficient when professionally administered.
Sedation dentistry means the use of medications to help patients relax during dental procedures. It's otherwise referred to as "sleep dentistry," though that’s not totally correct. Patients are usually lucid with the exception of those who are under general anesthesia. In recent times, sedation dentistry has evolved to be much more palatable and it gives a suiting relief. Patients unlike before now have an improved alternative to the traditional methods of inhaling nitrous oxide or “laughing gas” and IVs. The advent of the “no needle” (no injection) methods of sedation has appealed to many people.
Oral sedation dentistry is quite prevalent in the US. Easy and expedient, this method doesn’t require the use of needles. The major advantage is that, the medications create a very comfortable and natural experience that after the operation, patients hardly remember they visited the clinic.
It is always as though they slept throughout the process. Realistically speaking, oral sedation dentistry provides for a level of consciousness in the patient in order to ensure safety and cooperation.
It is however important to note that sedation is different from anesthesia injections. Although most dental treatments still need the injection of a local anesthetic in the mouth, even when sedation has been administered. Local anesthetic momentarily blocks pain impulses from affected teeth and gum tissue. The injection of local anesthetic occurs just after you have been sedated and calm, so you are likely to be oblivious of the fact that you just got injected.
Do you think it is impossible to seat relaxed in your dentist’s chair or the thoughts of your oral medical appointment spooks you? A sedation is all you require. Sedation dentistry is a proven way of administering oral medical treatments to patients while they smile back at you.
Anxiolysis otherwise known as minimal sedation. Using this method, you are awake and relaxed. Inhalation of analgesia otherwise called nitrous oxide or “laughing gas is prevalent among patients with high level of anxiety. It is usually administered through the placement of a small hood over the nose through which nitrous oxide is passed through. It usually invokes a feeling of wellbeing.
Moderate Sedation formerly called "conscious sedation") is described by a depressed level of consciousness, meaning you can breathe freely, maintain your reflexes and respond to physical stimulation.
Oral sedation also known as the oral conscious sedation (OCS) – is often associated with sedation dentistry. It effects a moderate sedation through oral medication administered to the patient prior to the appointment to tune down the consciousness of pain, sounds and smell.
Intravenous Sedation is similar to oral sedation because it makes people feel like they are asleep. The major difference between both sedations is the modalities of administration. Administered through an injection, IVs has an almost immediate effect and is preferable for brief dental procedures. A common side effect of intravenous sedation and oral sedation is Amnesia. The cost of IVs and Oral sedation comes in competitive prices.
Deep sedation: not considered a sedation dentistry method, includes a depressed consciousness where a patient might not breathe independently, loses some reflexes as well as inability to use some senses. It usually involves the use of IV sedation or general anesthesia medications. The effects could be long lasting till the procedure is completed.
General Anesthesia: popularly used for surgery and a few patients who are reactive to sedation dentistry.
Patients receiving sedation dentistry treatments are usually advised to have someone look after them. Even after the completion of the process, the caregiver should stick around till the effects of the sedation fades away.
People who have a low pain threshold, can't keep calm in a dentist's chair, have very sensitive dentures, have a bad gag reflex or needs to undergo an extended dental process are all candidates of sedation.
Dara Kimia D.M.D. Herbert Schneider D.D.S.
Daniel Herrera D.D.S. Brock J. Lorenz D.M.D.