An Overview of Sedation Dentistry; Levels, Types, and Benefits

An Overview of Sedation Dentistry; Levels, Types, and Benefits

May 1, 2021

Fear and anxiety are the most common reasons people skip dental appointments and only go to the dentist when necessary. This compromises your dental health.

Sedation dentistry is the administration of sedatives by your dentist before or during dental treatment. They prevent pain and calm and relax your nerves. Therefore, the dentist can safely and efficiently perform necessary dental procedures.

4 Levels of Sedation Dentistry

  1. Deep sedation

Patients who need complex or invasive dental procedures require deep sedation. The patient falls unconscious once it is administered and remains so during the procedure but can be easily awakened.

  1. General anesthesia

The patient is completely unconscious during the procedure. The dentist provides breathing assistance for the patient as they are unable to breathe on their own.

  1. Moderate sedation

This type of sedation leaves you completely conscious but relaxed and unable to feel any pain during the dental procedure. Dentists administer moderate sedation intravenously or orally.

  1. Mild sedation

This sedation type ensures that the patient is conscious during the procedure but does not feel any pain or anxiety. Mild sedation is administered orally or through inhalation.

Types of Sedation Used During Dental Procedures

  1. Oral sedation

Oral sedation is administered through a pill or liquid an hour before the dental procedure. The patient remains awake but drowsy during the treatment. It is administered during routine dental procedures. Oral sedation treatment is commonly used for patients who are;

  • Generally anxious or afraid
  • Afraid of needles or dental instruments
  • Suffering from past dental trauma.

 

  1. Inhaled sedation

The patient breathes in nitrous oxide, which is combined with oxygen through a mask placed over the nose. The patient relaxes immediately. The dentist can control the amount of sedation during the procedure, and you can safely drive home after treatment as the gas wears off quickly. It is used during fillings or tooth extractions.

  1. Intravenous (IV) Sedation

The patient receives this sedative through an IV line in a vein found in their arm. The sedative flows directly into the patient’s blood and therefore works quickly. The dentist can adjust the level of sedation administered to the patient during a procedure like oral surgery.

  1. General anesthesia

General anesthesia is administered intravenously or through inhalation. The patient is unconscious during the procedure, but their heart rate, breathing, and blood pressure are monitored. The anesthesia can wear off after treatment, or the dentist can reverse its effects with medication. Sedation dentistry dental offices use general anesthesia for procedures like jaw surgery or extraction of wisdom teeth.

Ideal Candidates for Sedation Dentistry

  • Patients with a phobia of dental procedures
  • Those with extremely sensitive oral nerves
  • Patients who require long, difficult, or invasive procedures
  • The ones who have a general anxiety disorder
  • Patients with past traumatic dental experiences
  • Patients with severe gag reflexes
  • Mentally or physically impaired patients
  • Patients with small mouths that easily sore during dental procedures

Benefits of Sedation Dentistry

1. Sedation dentistry enables patients to overcome their dental fear and anxiety. This helps them attend checkups regularly to prevent serious future dental problems. It also enables them to explore different types of treatments that maintain, restore, improve and preserve their dental health.

2. It provides ease of treatment. A patient who has been sedated during a dental procedure remains calm and relaxed throughout. Treatment proceeds faster since the dentist can focus entirely on the procedure.

3. Patients with strong gag reflexes make dental procedures difficult. Sedation dentistry makes the patient unaware of the dentist’s actions that may cause spasms. The dentist is thus able to work fast and efficiently since the patient is comfortable.

4. Sedation dentistry is great for patients with special needs and disorders that impair their nervous system. Sedation reduces their hypersensitivity and discomfort during treatment.

5. You can reduce the number of dental appointments when your dentist uses sedatives during treatment. Procedures that are extensive and require several visits to the dentist to be successfully treated can be completed in fewer visits.

6. Sedation dentistry ensures a pain-free experience for the patient regardless of the procedure. Under sedation dentistry, your brain does not register any pain during treatment.

7. Patients with dental phobia caused by past unpleasant experiences that increase every time they visit the dentist benefit from sedation dentistry. When these patients are sedated during a dental procedure, their minds cannot create new unpleasant memories. This helps to reduce and overcome their phobia.

George Landress, DDS, offers sedation dental procedures at affordable prices. Book with us today for quality dental services.

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