Why do dentists use sedation, you might be asking yourself? Sedation helps patient relax and feel little to no discomfort when undergoing a dental procedure. Let’s discuss some of the different types of dental sedation and what each of them entails.
Commonly referred to as freezing, local anaesthesia is one of the most popular forms of sedation used by dentists. Freezing is administered for minor pain relief. This procedure involves isolating a specific area of the mouth and applying the aesthetic medication to it. The anaesthesia works within seconds.
Oral sedation involves the ingestion of anxiety pills prior to a dental procedure. The pills work to reduce pain and anxiety. Two common drugs used are Diazepam (Valium) and Triazolam. The latter causes patients to become sleepy, inducing a deep relaxation. Patients who take oral sedatives feel little to no pain when they sit or lie down.
Inhaled Sedation (Nitrous Oxide)
Do you fear injections? This is the best option for you. Nitrous oxide is used to calm the nerves and to reduce pain. It’s a mild gas that is inhaled. It’s suitable for patients who have general anxiety or anyone who has trouble lying or sitting still, such as kids. You should avoid driving after being administered this sedation or any others.
Some patients prefer intravenous sedation. It involves the use of needles to administer sedation. A single dose is enough to put a patient into semi-sleep mode. The patient remains somewhat conscious, but impervious of the pain. Intravenous sedation is suitable for long or complex dental procedures.
Also known as unconscious sedation, general anaesthesia is suitable for patients who need to undergo long and invasive dental procedures. It’s very useful in situations where patients have extreme dental fear or anxiety of procedures. The sedative is administered intravenously. Within a few minutes, the patient will fall into a deep sleep. The dentist can work quickly since the patient feels no pain at all.