Have you ever thought to yourself: How good would it be if I could just take a nap on the dentist’s chair, wake up to find all my dental problems fixed while I was asleep? Well, you’d be glad to know that this is already a reality.
Whether you are struggling with dental phobia or simply do not wish to endure the agony of an invasive procedure, sedation dentistry is designed to take the edge off and offer some much-needed solace.
Sedation dentistry involves the use of various medications to relieve the pain and anxiety that you would otherwise experience during a dental procedure. It covers a broad spectrum of treatments, in fact, anything from a simple teeth-cleaning process all the way to a full mouth reconstruction.
Levels of sedation dentistry
Depending on the simplicity or severity of your dental procedure, the dentist may prescribe sedation agents that range from mild to moderate to strong.
This would result your experiencing differing levels of sedation, as in the following:
- Mild sedation: You remain awake but are in a relaxed state
- Moderate or conscious sedation: You would be a bit conscious – slurring your words is quite common – but not able to remember much after the procedure
- Deep sedation: You are somewhat awake although on the edge of consciousness
- General anaesthesia: You are completely unconscious.
Types of dental sedation
There are different ways through which a dentist or anaesthesiologist can deliver the sedation medication.
Some of the most common forms of dental sedation include:
Inhaled minimal sedation: You will be required to wear a non-invasive nose mask for this type of sedation, variously referred to as nitrous oxide sedation or “laughing gas”. Throughout the procedure, you will be able to breathe normally as a mixture of nitrous oxide and oxygen puts you in a relaxed state.
The so-called laughing gas (or happy gas) tends to wear off pretty quickly, and you won’t have any issues driving back home after the session.
Oral Sedation: Oral sedation ranges from minimal to moderate. If minimal sedation is required, you would be given a Halcion pill. Similar to Valium, it’s usually taken about an hour before the procedure. The pill will make you drowsy, but you will be awake throughout the procedure.
A larger dose may be administered to bring about moderate sedation. For some patients, moderate oral sedation has been known to induce sleep during the procedure.
IV Sedation: Intravenous (IV) Sedation involves the use of a liquid form of sedative that is administered directly into the patient’s bloodstream via an injection.
While you may be fully conscious throughout the procedure, you will have little or no recollection of the procedure afterwards. It works by relaxing the patient’s muscles to minimise the stress or anxiety you feel during a treatment.
General anaesthesia: As mentioned, you will be totally unconscious during the procedure. You will only awaken after the anaesthetic effects have worn off.
It should be noted that sedation dentistry is not for everyone. You should discuss the various sedation options with your dentist in order to make an informed choice.
Happy Gas, Oral Sedation, IV Sedation… North Sydney Dental Practice gives you more options for a relaxing dental treatment.
To find out more about the Sedation Dentistry services at North Sydney Dental Practice, call02 8074 5320.