Techniques in Sedation Dentistry

by on May.14, 2013, under Dentist

sedation dentistry

For those who have fear or anxiety about dental visits, sedation dentistry is way of receiving treatment in a comfortable, relaxed way. It makes cleanings and treatments possible for those with dental anxiety. A sedation dentist in Waco, TX can help you examine your options and choices in regards to sedation.

sedation dentistry takes several forms. It is sometime called “sleep dentistry” but this is a poor nickname. Typically, general anesthesia is administered in a hospital setting. However, it is an option in some practices. The more common types of sedation dentistry are administered either orally, through inhalation or through an IV.

Oral sedatives

Oral medications are typically in pill form. Your dentist may prescribe a medication to be taken the night before, the morning of or as little as 30 minutes prior to an appointment. Alternately, he may ask you to take a dose at bedtime and another an hour before your appointment.

These medications will not relieve pain. They will only help the patient relax. Additional pain medication and numbing medicines will like be administered as well.

Taking an oral medication is one of the easiest and safest methods of sedation. There are few, if any, side effects afterwards. You may not even remember having had anything done. The dentist will monitor blood pressure, oxygen saturation and respiration to ensure your safety.

This method can be used for all types of dental treatments. It can ease the anxiety of routine cleanings, fillings, crowns and most other in-office procedures. You will need someone to drive you home after your appointment but should feel completely recovered when the medication has cleared from your body, typically in a few hours at most.

Inhaled sedatives

Nitrous oxide, also called “laughing gas”, is an inhaled gas that has been used in dentistry for quite some time. Its first recorded use was in 1844. Nitrous oxide has a slightly sweet smell and taste and it very safe when used in small quantities for limited amounts of time. The name “laughing gas” comes from the feeling of euphoria that patients feel when the gas is administered.

This method can also be used for many routine treatments like cleanings and fillings. Most patients will not need anyone to drive them home. Oxygen will be administered after the procedure to speed the process of clearing the gas from your system.

A small, comfortable mask is placed over the patient’s nose. He should begin to feel the effects of the sedation within 30 seconds. He will feel relaxed but this product also has no effect on pain. Numbing medication and pain relief may be administered or prescribed.

IV Sedation

Your dentist can also utilize IV (intravenous) sedation. In this method, medication is administered directly into the veins. It is a deeper form of sedation than oral or inhaled options but less deep than general anesthesia.

IV sedation can be used for most procedures but it is typically used for the lengthier, more involved treatments. Root canals, extractions, restorations and cosmetic procedures may use this technique. It is the most often used sedation for wisdom tooth extractions.

Patients will feel completely relaxed, very drowsy and may fall asleep when under IV sedation. You will need a driver to take you home if your sedation dentist uses IV sedation. The medication has lingering effects so plan to take some time to recover in the office afterwards.

For patients with dental anxiety, these methods can make dental treatment accessible and comfortable. Discuss with your dentist what treatment option will be most appropriate for you.

Steven T. Cutbirth DDS
1613 Lake Success Drive
Waco, TX 76710
(254) 772-5420 ‎

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