Dental Sedation Options – Descriptions and More

If the thoughts of seeing a dentist make you feel chill or afraid every time, then dental sedation might be the solution. It is a process that combines many different techniques to help a patient relax during uncomfortable appointments or surgery. Below are some common dental sedation options that you would consider for the next dentistry visits.

Dental Sedation Options

If you are removing plaque from your teeth or filling a cavity, you will most likely not have to be sedated. However, if you are having your wisdom teeth removed, then there is a good chance that you will be. Read below for some descriptions of dental sedation options. 

1. Laughing gas

Nitrous oxide, also known as laughing gas, is perhaps the most common sedation options in many dental offices. During a process called inhalation analgesia, this gas is used to put the patient to sleep, thus helping to relieve pain caused by surgery. Also, this is an effective way to reduce your anxiety and fear during a dental procedure. Using laughing gas is very safe. That’s why you often see it in most dental clinics. It is often used in combination with a local injection of anesthesia to enhance consistency and effectiveness. In many cases, the gas could be administered by a device to further alleviate the discomfort of this injection.

2. General Anesthesia

General anesthesia is a type of dental sedation in which the patient will be put into asleep for the whole procedure. To do this, some drugs will be injected directly into the vein, combined with the possible inhalation of some gaseous anesthetics. The main benefit of this option is that you cannot be aware of any pain or anxiety during the operation. However, there might be some possible side effects and long recovery time might be required in the dental office before you can leave.

Dental Sedation Options

3. Enteral Sedation

Another option for dental sedation is enteral sedation. It often comes in the form of a liquid or pill that you take orally. Similar to local anesthetics, this technique is often practiced in combination with the use of nitrous oxide. During the procedure, you might still be awake, but not anxious or nervous about the current dental work.

4. IV Sedation

Intravenous (IV) sedation is a common type of anti-anxiety in which the sedative is injected directly into a vein. This option allows the dentist to offer deeper sedation, even though you might still be awake during the process. However, you would be less aware of the dental work. After this process, you might need some time to recover before leaving.

Are you a suitable candidate for dental sedation?

Not everyone is ideal for these dental sedation options. The overall health, as well as your mental and physical conditions, are essential factors in determining the right option for you. For instance, if you are suffering from some health issues, such as respiratory diseases, diabetes, hypertension, or cardiac disease, it is important to get clearance from a doctor before you would get any form of sedation. To ensure a safe procedure, your dentist will conduct a comprehensive physical assessment and medical history before proceeding. Also, he or she might also ask for medical clearance from a doctor.

The Bottom Line

These dental sedation options have long been used to help patients get through painful or uncomfortable surgery. They can be used for any form of dental procedure, depending on your needs and budget. Ultimately, the goal is to manage the phobias and fears so that you would receive the best results from your dental care routine.

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