What is Sedation Dentistry?
You may have heard about sedation dentistry from a friend or heard a commercial and wondered if it’s something that could help you, but what is sedation dentistry?
Sedation dentistry is a technique used by specially trained and certified dentists who use a wide range of medication to help an otherwise anxious patient become relaxed enough to get the care that they need.
There are a few sedation techniques that dentists choose to use, and each of them have their own set of benefits and restrictions. Here they are:
- Nitrous Oxide “Laughing Gas” – Nitrous oxide is a gas administered through a nosepiece/mask which can help with mild anxiety. The level of gas is controlled by the dentist and can wear off quickly, usually enabling a patient to drive home after their appointment.
- Oral Sedation – With oral sedation, a pill is taken about an hour before the appointment. When most people ask the question, “What is sedation dentistry,” this is the typical sedation technique that comes to mind. Oral sedation can be used for mild to moderate sedation. Sometimes oral sedation can make a patient groggy enough to dip into a light sleep during the procedure, however, they can still be easily awakened.
- IV sedation – Sedation medication is administered into an IV which enables the medication to work much quicker. Unlike oral sedation, IV sedation allows the dentist to make adjustments during the procedure as-needed.