When you need dental surgery, chances are you will be offered a range of options for sedation dentistry. Sedation can be a great option for more involved surgeries, as it can offer a reduction in pain and anxiety. Sedatives work by depressing the central nervous system, and there are typically three types of sedation: minimal, moderate and deep.
With minimal and moderate sedation, you will be relaxed but will still be able to respond to verbal or physical stimulation. However, with deep sedation, you are more likely to be unconscious. Your doctor can help you to select your level of sedation depending on what your surgery and personal anxiety level is.
What Kind of Sedation Is Available?
There are typically three types of sedation regularly used for dental surgery and treatment. These include Nitrous Oxide, Oral Conscious Sedation and IV Sedation. If your Sedation Dentist requires that you be more alert for a procedure, he or she may opt for a minimal sedation technique such as Nitrous Oxide. However, more involved procedures may call for deep sedation, which IV sedation can provide.
Often referred to as “laughing gas,” nitrous oxide when used for dentistry is actually a inhaled combination of both nitrous oxide and oxygen. Use of this inhalation sedation technique is highly preferred for less serious dental procedures, as the patient is still able to respond to both verbal and physical stimuli, and there is little to no post-surgery recovery time from the sedation. When you receive nitrous oxide at your dentist’s office, you may have a warm, or “happy drunk” feeling. This type of sedation is also often used for nervous or anxious patients.
Oral Conscious Sedation
Like nitrous oxide, oral conscious sedation provides the patient with a sense of calm and less ability to feel pain, yet still able to reply to vocal and physical stimulation. Patients are administered a pill to be taken a few hours before their visit. These pills are often in the benzodiazepine family, with prescriptions such as Valium or Xanax being common prescriptions. While these prescriptions can help enormously with the fear factor and help with your pain threshold, there is a recovery time involved as you wait for the effects to wear off.
The third type of sedation that can be used for your dental procedure or surgery is IV sedation, or intravenously administered sedation. This is given to the patient through an intravenous insertion, typically on the back of the hand or the crook of the elbow. While the patient will be fully relaxed, and not fully conscious, they will not be asleep and are still able to respond to verbal cues from their doctor. While this method can totally eliminate pain and stress for your dental appointment, recovery time can be up to 24 hours where you should not drive or operate heavy machinery.
If you have dental surgery or even a simple procedure coming up, your dentist will be able to discuss your various sedation options with you. Don’t be afraid to be honest about any anxiety you are feeling. The more information the doctor has, the more they will be able to help you arrive at a decision on your dental sedation.
Relax in the hands of the Jones Bridge Dental Care Team!