Different Types Of Sedation Used In The Field Of Sleep Dentistry


People tend to become nervous while visiting dental clinics and this fear can cripple them in extreme cases. When a patient panics during the dental procedure, his quality of treatment gets adversely affected. Sleep dentistry comes in as a blessing for keeping patients calm during the procedure by controlling their anxiety. Local anesthesia is adequate for performing minor surgeries. Advanced procedures such as tooth removal, dental implantation, and root canal call for sedation dentistry to neutralize or minimize the pain.

The biggest benefit of sedation dentistry lies in controlling gag flex that occurs whenever something comes in contact with tonsil areas, the roof of the mouth, and the back of the tongue or throat. Patients suffering from gag flex might choke or splutter causing massive discomfort during the medical process. However, sedatives can halt gagging responses for some time thus guaranteeing the smooth run of various dental processes. Today we are going to take a look at the common types of sedation used in performing various dental procedures:

  • Laughing Gas

Nitrous oxide or laughing gas is commonly used during dental procedures for relaxing patients. Since it’s a gas, you will be conscious while taking nitrous oxide. However, it tends to wear off easily once the gas is removed. Patients receiving laughing gas during the sedation process can drive home themselves on completion of the procedure. Dentists usually provide a nose apparatus to patients for breathing a mixture of nitrous oxide gas and oxygen during the procedure. The gas levels can be adjusted as per requirement. While the effects are pretty mild, it starts taking effect within just 30 seconds of breathing in. There are instances where the patients relax on receiving nitrous oxide and do not require any other type of sedation.

  • Oral Sedation

Also known as conscious sedation, it involves the consumption of a prescribed sedative dose before undergoing the dental procedure. Patients might be prescribed either one pill an hour before the procedure or the night before as per the doctor’s direction. While the patients stay awake during the process, they feel significantly relaxed. This type of dentistry can massively benefit patients suffering from high anxiety levels during the dental procedure. Despite being awake mostly patients don’t remember anything about the process. Patients can be hooked up with a piece of equipment for monitoring their blood pressure, heart rate, and breathing. Alternatively, they might not require any monitoring at all. The choice ultimately depends on factors determined by the dentist. While patients feel sleepy after the process, the effects usually wear off the following day. However, it is not advisable to drive home yourself and it is preferred of you to arrange the ride home with a family member or friends.

  • IV Sedation

Under the intravenous method, the dental experts push the sedative drug to their patient’s bloodstream which leads to faster results. A needle is injected into the patient’s vein and the sedative passes through the intravenous tube. IV sedation can broadly be segregated into twilight and general anesthesia. Under the first method, patients remain conscious but cannot remember anything about the procedure. General anesthesia is rare in oral surgery and is used in extreme cases where patients might be resistant to other forms of sedation.

Final Words

Dentistry can be a painful process and that is where sedation dentistry comes in to keep the patients relaxed during the process. Most of us have an inherent fear of dentists but sleep dentistry makes use of specialized medication for calming your nerves and keeping anxiety at bay. This is a completely secure process when taken care of by experienced dentists. Usually, sedation dentistry can be availed for by all healthy adults.

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