Sedation dentistry, sometimes referred to as sleep dentistry, involves using medications to help you relax during a dental procedure. Sedation reduces your anxiety, fear, and discomfort when undergoing a procedure.
Indications for Sedation
Sedation is generally indicated for patients with fear or anxiety regarding going to a dentist for a dental procedure. These include patients with:
- Low pain threshold
- Difficulty sitting still in the dentist’s chair
- Sensitive teeth
- Requirement of major amount of dental work
Types of Sedation
Various types of sedation used during a dental procedure include:
- Inhaled minimal sedation: Your dentist places a mask over your nose and releases nitrous oxide gas (laughing gas) combined with oxygen to help you relax. The amount of gas released is controlled by your dentist.
- Oral sedation: Your dentist will give you a pill for minimal sedation an hour before the procedure. You will be awake but drowsy. If you require moderate sedation, your dentist will suggest a larger dose. There are chances of falling asleep with moderate sedation, but you can be awakened with a shake.
- Intravenous moderate sedation: In this type, the sedative medication is administered through your veins and the dose can be adjusted by your dentist.
- Deep sedation and general anesthesia: General anesthesia involves using medications to make you completely unconscious. It is not possible to awaken you immediately after the procedure until the effect of anesthesia has lessened.
Along with any of these sedation techniques, you may also require local anesthesia at the site of treatment to avoid pain and discomfort.