What Is Sedation Dentistry?Sedation dentistry, sometimes referred to as sleep dentistry, is the use of medication that helps patients to relax during difficult dental procedures. The medication administered by a qualified dentist or anesthetist can also assist in the reduction of pain associated with specific dental procedures.
Where Should I Go For Sedation Dentistry?Many dentists will advertise sedation dentistry. It pays to ask specific questions. Often practitioners will have different forms of sedation dentistry on their website but actually only offer the milder forms. This is because the technique sensitive forms of sedation dentistry require time consuming training and certification. It is not uncommon for dentists to mention IV sedation or even General anesthesia on their website but in practice only the pill form is offered. Ideally your practitioner should be experienced in multiple forms of sedation and offer the option that suits you best. Below is a description of those options.
What Are the Different Types of Sedation Dentistry?
Laughing Gas / Nitrous Oxide
A Comparison of Dental Sedation:
- Immediate effect and immediate reversal
- Cost effective for short procedures
- Not effective for longer or complicated procedures
- Offers only mild sedation with no pain control
- Cumbersome face mask
- Relatively inexpensive compared to IV sedation
- More effective and less cumbersome than Nitrous Oxide (laughing gas)
- A good sedation alternative for those with mild dental phobia and non-surgical procedures
- Typically, not a deep sedation like IV sedation
- Some patients don’t respond consistently to oral sedation
- Delayed desired effect
- Not as safe as IV sedation because it is not immediately reversible
- Sedation effect can linger longer after the procedure is complete
- Amnesia effect is not a potent
- No pain control without adding other medications
- Compared to oral or inhalation sedation, IV sedation delivers a stronger sedative effect.
- Patient will not remember the procedure due to the strong amnesia effect
- Immediate clinical effect
- IV sedation is safer because it is immediately reversible
- Patients who opt for IV sedation have a shorter recovery time.
- Since it delivers a strong level of sedation, it is effective in easing severe anxiety.
- IV sedation reduces the gag reflex, by suppressing that reflex, ensuring that the dental procedure is easier and more comfortable.
- It still allows patients to have maintained a low level of consciousness during the procedure.
- It is more expensive than other lesser forms of sedation
- It does require an IV which can be difficult for some patients
- Patients who are drug tolerant may not respond well to IV sedation
- Deep sedation effective for nearly all patients
- No memory of procedure
- Optimal procedure for complicated oral surgeries, such as jaw surgery
- Overkill for most dental procedures
- Can be difficult to find practitioners who offer GA