3 Different Types of Sedation Dentistry

Sedation dentistry has become one of the most popular dental treatments in Canada, simply because it allows people who suffer from dental anxiety to alleviate their fear during a treatment. It’s a common dental routine where a sedative is administered to the patient to minimize their awareness of the procedure, thus alleviating anxiety.

What types of sedation dentistry are there? With different patients, the type of sedative used ultimately depends on the needs of the patient. Outlined below are several common types of sedatives typically used in sedation dentistry.

Nitrous Oxide

Nitrous oxide, a.k.a. laughing gas, is perfect for people who have mild anxiety. During the procedure, you’ll be awake but very relaxed. The gas is administered through a mask placed over your face, and you simply have to breathe in normally. It’s a very low impact sedative, allowing you to drive following the completion of the procedure.

Oral Conscious Sedation

Like the name suggests, this is a sedative taken in pill form. Depending on the dosage, it can induce a low or moderate sedation. With a moderate sedation, you won’t remember much of the procedure even though you’re conscious. In some cases, patients become groggy to the point where they fall asleep! Most sedation dentistry practices ask that the patient take the pill an hour before the procedure.

As another note, it’s perfectly normal to have a fear of needles if you’re already anxious about the dentist. Both nitrous oxide and oral sedation are good options that don’t need to be injected.

IV Sedation

Intravenous (IV) sedation is the fastest working sedative, because a needle transfers the solution directly to your bloodstream. During my dental treatment, I couldn’t even reach six when counting down from ten before I fell asleep! This type of procedure is usually used when the patient wants a moderate to deep sedation.

Minimize Long Procedures

As another great side effect, procedures that would’ve seemed long now feel much shorter. Complex and long procedures, with the aid of sedatives, can be completed under one appointment rather than several visits. Even complicated dental emergencies can be aided with sedation dentistry.Read this article about the 5 most common types of dental emergencies for more information.

Can your Child take it?

You might be wondering if sedation dentistry is suitable for children to take, since it’s not uncommon for children to fear the dentist. Nitrous oxide is typically safe to administer to children because its effects are temporary and quickly wears off. In terms of stronger sedatives, ensure that the dentist has been trained in administering sedatives to children before the procedure.

Whether it’s anxiety or a long, complicated procedure, sedation dentistry allows you to relax while getting the dental treatment you need. With varying levels and types of sedation, be sure to talk to your dentist to find the right sedative for you!

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