What are the different levels of sedation?
There are two basic levels of sedation:
- Minimal sedation is achieved using nitrous oxide (laughing gas). Patients have little to no awareness of what is going on around them but can still respond to questions.
- Moderate sedation is achieved using oral sedation. Patients are awake but have no memory of the procedure.
- Deep sedation is administered through IV or oral pills. It induces deep sleep, and patients would feel no pain or have any memory of the treatment.
Explain the concept of minimal sedation dentistry
Minimal sedation dentistry involves the use of nitrous oxide (laughing gas). This gas is inhaled through a small mask that fits over your nose to help you relax. Although you’ll still be awake during treatment, you’ll experience some degree of sedation. Nitrous oxide is often used for patients who are anxious about their dental treatment.
What is moderate sedation dentistry?
Moderate sedation dentistry refers to the use of sedative medications to calm a patient’s nerves and ease their anxieties. This level of sedation includes nitrous oxide, oral conscious sedation, and IV sedation. Nitrous oxide, more commonly known as laughing gas, is administered through a small nasal mask and works quickly. Oral conscious sedation, in which the patient takes a small pill, takes minutes to take effect, and works for several hours. IV sedation is administered intravenously, takes effect within 10 minutes, and works for 4-6 hours.
Is sedation dentistry safe?
Yes. Sedation dentistry is appropriate for patients who are afraid of the dentist or who experience difficulty getting numb. Sedation dentistry is also used for complex procedures, like dental implant surgery. Patients typically receive moderate sedation, which relaxes them without putting them to sleep.
You can take a small pill or even inhale some nitrous oxide (laughing gas) to relax during treatment. Your dentist will determine which option is best for you based on your needs and medical history.
What is nitrous oxide sedation?
Nitrous Oxide, also known as laughing gas, is a mild sedative that is typically inhaled and induces a state of euphoria. Patients under the influence of laughing gas typically feel relaxed, light-headed, and happier. Laughing gas is an excellent option for children who may have a difficult time sitting through procedures. It is also beneficial for patients with mild anxiety who do not require stronger sedation.
What is oral sedation?
Oral sedation involves taking a small pill about an hour before the procedure. The pill is typically triazolam or lorazepam. Both medications are short-acting, and the effects wear off shortly after the procedure is over. Oral sedation is exceptionally useful for patients who are anxious about dental procedures. It is also useful for patients who have difficulty getting numb.
Explain IV sedation?
IV sedation is administered through a needle in your arm. The sedative medication is administered directly into your bloodstream, where it quickly travels to your brain. There are a number of benefits of IV sedation. First, you are completely asleep and unaware of any pain. Second, your vital signs can be monitored on a continuous basis.
Who can benefit from sedation dentistry?
Sedation dentistry helps patients relax during dental appointments. If you experience dental anxiety or are highly sensitive to pain, sedation dentistry may be right for you. Sedation dentistry is also ideal for patients who have difficulty getting numb, have a sensitive gag reflex, or with special needs. Dental sedation can also help patients who have difficulty sitting still for long periods. Many patients also opt for dental sedation prior to lengthy procedures like dental implant placement.