The thought of going to the dentist is something that scares a lot of people. In fact, many patients would prefer to avoid going to the dentist as much as they can, and would rather endure a toothache than sit in a dentist’s chair! Here at Hamptons Dental, we are known for making your dental appointment as comfortable and relaxed as possible. However, there are some patients who require more help to make them calm during their procedure. This is where sedation dentistry comes in.
What is Sedation Dentistry?
Sedation dentistry is the process of administering medication to patients in order to decrease their anxiety and fear during a procedure. There are different levels of sedation that range from simple relaxation to general anesthesia that will make the patient unconscious. Our dentist will determine the right type of sedation for you, based on the procedure involved and your anxiety levels.
- Minimal sedation is the lowest level of sedation industry and aims to just calm the patient down
- Conscious sedation or moderate sedation puts the patient in a drowsy state to the extent that he may not remember the procedure at all
- Deep sedation is when the patient is almost unconscious
- General anesthesia is when the patient is fully unconscious
To achieve these different levels of sedation, several methods are used. If you are driving a vehicle after your appointment, then Inhaled Minimal Sedation will be the best type for you. More commonly known as “laughing gas”, this gas is actually a combination of nitrous oxide and oxygen that can help you relax. The effects also wear off quickly so you won’t be disoriented for long. Oral Sedation is often the most common method used in sedation dentistry. Our dentist will give you a particular dose, depending on the level of sedation he wishes to achieve–from mild to moderate.
IV Moderate Sedation is used when the dentist wants the sedation to take effect more quickly. The sedative drug enters the bloodstream through an IV so you can feel the effects right away. Deep Sedation uses general anesthesia so you are deeply unconscious throughout the procedure. This means that you will not wake up until the medication’s effect has worn off.
Here at Hamptons Dental, it’s important to use that every appointment you have with our dentist is a pleasant and comfortable experience. If you feel anxious about your upcoming procedure, then we will be happy to discuss sedation dentistry with you. We are located in NW Calgary in the Co-Op Shopping Center.
Different dental procedures require varying forms of sedation, depending on their length and complexity. IV Sedation is one of the more popular types of sedation for dental procedures that will last longer than your routine checkup and may require some specialist treatment. Such procedures can include tooth removal, implant insertion, or general oral surgery.
IV stands for intravenous, which means that the sedative is administered directly into a vein so it can circulate through the body via the bloodstream. Though this may sound a little nerve-wracking for some, it is a straightforward and effective process that can ease your nerves tremendously through the procedure.
Despite IV sedation being an exceptionally safe form of stress relief, it isn’t without its risks. These aren’t risks that should cause you undue concern. They are merely aspects that, as a patient, we feel you should be aware of prior. Side-effects can include either partial or total memory loss of the time sedated, and you may experience grogginess. Usually, these side-effects ease up within an hour following the procedure.
The Benefits of IV sedation far outweigh the risks. It’s one of the safer options available, since despite feeling thoroughly relaxed, you are still conscious enough to respond to the dentist at any point, and can significantly assist patients with dentist related anxiety.
Sometimes more popular among patients due to its non-invasive nature, oral sedation is administered through the swallowing of a pill to soothe the central nervous system. It results in a sensation of calm within the patient that can make dental visits much quicker and easier.
Dosage sizes vary depending on the patient and the desired result. For a basic checkup, a smaller dose is recommended, but higher doses may be utilized for more complicated procedures. This will be discussed with you in full with a dental professional before any procedure to ensure the most efficient possible result.
The process is incredibly simple. You will be given a pill of an appropriate dose, and once the effects begin to kick in, your dentist will begin the procedure. You can expect to feel relaxed, soothed, and sleepy. Sometimes oral sedatives are issued the night before to ensure that nerves don’t compromise your sleep.
The effects of oral sedation can last a little longer than other sedatives, which is why it’s essential to plan accordingly. Ensure your transport is covered, as you won’t be able to drive once sedated, and remember to stay hydrated. Please don’t drink alcohol before or soon after sedation, and take it easy following your appointment. Continued symptoms can include confusion and prolonged drowsiness, but these often alleviate with rest.
Among all sedative options available, oxide sedation is perhaps the easiest to administer. There’s no needles or pills involved, and no need for any excess planning beyond your appointment time. The sedition acts to soothe you through your appointment via nitrous oxide, a colorless and odorless gas that is mixed with oxygen of varying levels.
Upon inhalation, usually through a nasal hood, your body will begin to relax, and the procedure can move forward with minimal stress. You won’t fall asleep from oxide sedation, though the varying doses to affect the body in different ways. A minimum dose will relax you while a medium dose will mean you won’t remember the entire appointment, but you are still awake. A higher dose will have you on the edge of consciousness but still aware enough for the dentist to wake if necessary.
As it’s administered in a gas form, oxide sedation works very quickly, with effects usually appearing only after 2-3 minutes. These effects also wear off very quickly, meaning if necessary, you should be able to drive yourself home safely. It additionally acts as a painkiller, so discomfort, along with anxiety, is alleviated. The appropriate dosage for you will be defined by your medical history and the nature of the procedure. Your dentist will explain all of this to you before your appointment.