Are you a Scaredy Cat when it comes to seeing the dentist? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. The good news is that our Dawson Dental Centre locations have options available to help calm your nerves. If you tend to avoid the dentist out of fear, sedation dentistry may take away some of your anxiety. Sedation can be used for everything from hygiene treatment, dental implants and other cosmetic dental treatments. How it is used will depend on your treatment plan and preferences.
What Is Sedation Dentistry?
Sedation dentistry uses medication to help patients relax during dental procedures. It is sometimes referred to as “sleep dentistry,” although that’s not entirely accurate. Although the patient is usually awake, the different sedation options offer varying levels of relaxation.
The levels of sedation most commonly used include:
- Minimal sedation — you are awake but relaxed.
- Moderate sedation (formerly called “conscious sedation”) — you may slur your words when speaking and you may not remember the procedure.
- Deep sedation — you are on the edge of consciousness but can still be awakened.
- General anesthesia — you are completely unconscious.
What Types of Sedation Are Used in Dentistry?
Inhaled Minimal Sedation: You breathe nitrous oxide — otherwise known as “laughing gas” — combined with oxygen through a mask that is placed over your nose. The gas helps you relax, and your dentist can control the amount of sedation you receive. The “laughing gas” leaves your system quickly and is the only form of sedation that you are allowed to drive yourself home after.
Oral Moderate Sedation: Depending on the total dose given, oral sedation can range from minimal to moderate. Typically, oral sedation comes in the form of a pill (similar to Valium), and it’s usually taken about an hour before the procedure begins. The pill will make you drowsy, although you will still be conscious. This is the type of anesthesia most commonly associated with sedation dentistry. Some people become groggy enough from moderate oral sedation to actually fall asleep during the procedure.
IV Moderate Sedation: You receive the sedative drug through an IV, so it goes to work more quickly. This method allows the dentist to continually adjust the level of sedation.
Deep Sedation and General Anesthesia: You will receive medications through an IV during your dental treatment that will make you almost unconscious (deep sedation) or completely unconscious (general anesthesia). These types of sedation take longer to leave your system, and you will therefore require more recovery time following the procedure.
Regardless of which type of sedation you receive, the dentist will also typically provide a local anesthetic — numbing medication where the dentist is working in the mouth — to ensure the highest level of comfort throughout your dental treatment. Be sure to follow us on Google+ or Facebook – next week we will be go through sedation dentistry FAQ including sedation cost and who can provide sedation during dental procedures.
With so many sedation options available, we can work with you to find the best personalized fit for your situation. Reserve your appointment today.
Dawson Dental Centre team members are knowledgeable, caring and with 18 locations across Ontario including in Toronto, Waterloo, Aurora and more there’s a dentist near you. We offer General & Cosmetic Dentistry services such as dental implants, Invisalign invisible braces and dental veneers. New patients are always warmly welcome!