Sedation dentistry makes you feel at peace, calm, and relaxed during dental surgeries. Because of the moderate sedation dose, you are technically still awake but also quite relaxed. It’s also known as conscious sedation dentistry or “twilight sleep”. Because it induces a condition of short-term amnesia (forgetfulness) in which you feel pain insensitivity without losing consciousness. Sedation levels employed include:
- Minimal Sedation: you are awake yet at ease.
- Moderate Sedation (formerly known as “conscious sedation”): you may have trouble speaking clearly and not remembering most of the process.
- Deep Sedation: You are just on the verge of consciousness, but they are still able to wake you
- General Anesthesia: You are entirely unconscious.
What Are the Many Types of Sedation?
In this procedure, dentists employ several types of sedation, including:
- Sedation by Inhalation (“Laughing Gas”): With a mask, the patient inhales nitrous oxide, which calms them down while the treatment is being done.
- Oral Sedation: The patient takes a pill before the treatment to induce sleep. They can still obey commands and follow instructions, but they can forget what happened afterwards.
- IV Sedation: This is given intravenously and induces a deeper level of relaxation in the patient. The patient might not recall the operation. This procedure allows the doctor to alter the dose of sedation continuously.
- General Anesthesia: This medicine causes the patient to fall asleep and be unconscious throughout the surgery. When the anesthetic wears off, you cannot easily wake up. Removing wisdom teeth is one dental procedure where this approach is most frequently employed.
The two most popular types of sedation dentistry are “laughing gas” and oral sedation. This is because laughing gas is the only form of anesthesia where you can drive yourself home. The other types of sedation need someone else to go home.
Who Makes a Suitable Candidate for Sedation Dentistry?
Sedation dentistry could be an excellent choice if seeing the dentist causes you any dread or anxiety. This includes those who:
- Have susceptible teeth
- Struggle with Novocaine numbing
- Have a strong gag reflex
- Require many treatments done simultaneously
- Need surgery but fear being put to sleep
Dentists can also administer nitrous oxide to kids in small doses to assist in easing extreme anxiety or if they are acting uncooperative. Most dentists are certified to give it, and it is safe for kids to use.
Benefits of Oral Sedation
- Simple to Administer: To keep you relaxed throughout the treatment, your dentist will prescribe a tablet. The simplest form of sedation is oral; all you have to do is take a pill about an hour before your appointment, and you’ll feel calm when you get there.
- No Needles: Many patients who fear going to the dentist also fear using needles, which are essential for administering IV sedation. Instead of worrying about being poked by the dentist, the patient can take the sedative orally before the visit using oral sedation.
- Amnesia: Patients experience little to no recollection of the surgery due to the high dosage of benzodiazepines. This is advantageous for people with dental anxiety since they won’t remember anything that happened while they were under anesthesia.
- Safe: Since the FDA regulates all oral sedatives, it is pretty unlikely that you will encounter any adverse side effects that might be hazardous.
- Responsive: Although tired from pill sedation, you will still be aware and able to communicate. While awake throughout the treatment, you can still hear and follow your dentist’s instructions.
What Are the Dangers of Problems Associated with Sedation Dentistry?
When provided by a certified healthcare professional, sedation dentistry is usually safe. Nonetheless, difficulties are possible. Potential short-term risks include:
- Persistent sleepiness
- Mouth dry (xerostomia)
- Nausea and vomiting
- IV-related bruising
The effects of oral sedatives might be unpredictable. Occasionally, someone may experience an allergic response. Some medications can resolve these problems.
Adverse Effects of Sedation in Pediatric Dentistry
For children, sedation dentistry is safe. But, when your child takes new medications, it may still be unsettling as a parent. Side effects from child sedation dentistry are often temporary. However, they might include the following:
- Nausea and vomiting
How Long Does It Take to Recover?
Recovery periods might differ. It depends on the kind of sedation you select and how your body reacts to the drugs. Most persons who get nitrous oxide recover within 15 to 30 minutes and can leave their appointment and drive home. The usual recovery time for those who select oral or Intravenous conscious sedation is around 24 hours.
Find Out More About Sedation Dentistry
It might be challenging to overcome dental phobia, which is quite common. However, during cleanings and other dental treatments, sedation dentistry helps anxious patients relax so that their oral health is not at risk.