What is it about dentists that make us so nervous? We are not only talking about little kids, but the fear is also universal in young and adults alike. Something about that dentist chair makes our whole body go numb and paralyze in fear. We search for excuses to save us from that customary dentist appointment and wish that there isn’t anything wrong with our precious molars.
For those patients who would rather wallow in agony than face a surgical procedure through a dentist, sedation dentistry is the best way to go. Sedation helps in relieving some of the anxiety that people relate to tooth problems and can be used for any surgical procedure as well as for teeth cleaning.
There are different levels of sedation procedure depending on the nature of pain inflicted in a procedure and the needs of the patient. There is minimal sedation (to remove any anxiety or fear), moderate sedation (sort of dizzy state, may not remember what is happening around you), deep sedation (on the edge of consciousness) and completely sedated (the word says it all).
While you might not have noticed, there are different types of sedation methods too. A good dental clinic will have dentists who know what is right for you. Different dentists use varying kinds of sedation techniques.
1) Inhaled minimal sedation –This is a kind of minimal sedation and does not require any hospital stay. Patients can easily drive back home in their car after the appointment.
Patients inhale nitrous oxide also known as laughing gas mixed with parts of oxygen. The dentist can manipulate the amount of gas to be administered. It wears off quickly, so you are good to go after a simple procedure.
2) Oral sedation – This is the procedure in which oral doses are given to the patient for sedation ranging from minimal to moderate. Most commonly used pill in these types of procedures is Halcion, which is a kind of Valium and have to be taken few hours before the surgery.
The pill may make you drowsy, but you will be still awake to all the happenings around you. Doses can be increased to make it a moderate sedation if pain increases.
3) IV moderate sedation – Sedative drugs are administered through intravenous lines into your veins. As the drug is directly administered into the veins, it acts quickly. The level of sedation can be controlled by the dentist from moderate to deep or even completely sedated.
4) Deep sedation – Deep sedation procedure is done using general anaesthesia which is used in other surgical procedures. It results in complete sedation of a patient. The patient would be required to spend the night in the hospital.
For any kind of sedation procedure, an additional local aesthetic is also used in the mouth (the surgical site) by the dentist to cause some numbness in case patients feel any kind of discomfort during the procedure.