Dental Sedation Options
A significant number of people do not visit the dentist for regular check-ups because they are too fearful or suffer from dental anxiety. At Clayburn Dental in Abbotsford, we offer dental sedation services to help our patients feel safe, relaxed, and comfortable during their dental treatment.
What is dental sedation?
Dental sedation is often mistakenly thought to induce sleep. In fact, most sedatives allow the patient to stay awake during their procedure. Sleepiness is a side effect of some medications, but nitrous oxide, oral conscious sedation, and IV sedation only work to calm anxiety throughout the dental visit.
Dental sedation is popular because most sedatives can be taken by mouth, meaning no injections, no anxiety and no pain.
Some sedatives work so effectively that even the smells and details of the procedure cannot be recalled afterwards. Safety and compliance are two important aspects of treatment, so dental sedation offers both the patient and the dentist the best alternative.
Whatever the form of sedative, it is essential to be accompanied by a caregiver. Sometimes, sedatives are provided the night before the dental visit, which means that driving to or from the appointment is not advisable.
The most popular types of dental sedatives are nitrous oxide, oral conscious sedation, and IV sedation. Different levels of sedation (mild, moderate and deep) can be utilized depending on individual needs. Before administering any sedative, the dentist must analyze the full medical history of the patient, and take note of any current medications.
Here is an overview of some of the most common types of dental sedatives used at Clayburn Dental in Abbotsford:
Nitrous Oxide (Laughing Gas)
Nitrous oxide (laughing gas) is used as a mild sedative. It is delivered through a nose hood and is administered throughout the entire procedure.
Nitrous oxide elevates the general mood and can evoke a general sense of well-being. Most importantly, it relieves anxiety and reduces pain during the procedure. When under the effects of Nitrous Oxide, the patient may experience some tingling and numbness, but these feelings dissipate when the sedation is withdrawn.
Intravenous sedation (IV) is a moderate type of sedation. Patients who have undergone IV sedation often report feeling like they slept through their procedure.
Generally, IV sedation is used for shorter treatments. It is administered via direct injection into the bloodstream, which means the effects are immediate. Sometimes patients feel groggy and sleepy when the IV sedatives are withdrawn, and so they must have a ride home after the appointment.
Oral Conscious Sedation
Oral conscious sedation is an excellent choice for people who fear needles. Oral medication is provided prior to treatment in order to induce a moderate state of sedation.
Though oral sedatives do not cause sleep, they usually dull the senses. This means that most patients cannot remember the pain, smells or noises associated with the procedure. Usually, a dose of medication is taken prior to the appointment, and then topped up during the procedure as required.