Although some people may feel apprehension about certain dental procedures, the use of sedation can calm worries and help make the experience more tolerable. There are many different types of sedatives that a dentist can use, and each one exhibits varying degrees of strength. The most powerful ones can make the patient unconscious so the…
3 Different Options for Sedation Dentistry
Sedation dentistry offers a great way to feel more comfortable during dental procedures that can otherwise cause anxiety and discomfort. This article discusses three types of sedation dentistry — nitrous oxide, intravenous (IV) sedation, and oral sedation.
3 Sedation dentistry options
Learning the different sedation dentistry options can help you understand why one may be recommended over another and what you can expect during the dental procedure. Keep in mind, all three types are considered safe and effective in helping patients feel more comfortable during treatment.
What is sedation dentistry?
Sedation dentistry refers to the use of sedation for dental procedures. Many dentists offer sedation for more invasive procedures. The type of sedation used depends on the patient’s preference, how extensive the treatment process is, and medical information (e.g., allergies, etc.). The main types of sedation that are used in dentistry today are:
- Nitrous oxide
- Intravenous (IV) sedation
- Oral sedation
General anesthesia is used for more complex oral surgery procedures, although it is rarely used for non-surgical procedures. The following is a more in-detail look at the three primary options for sedation dentistry.
1. Nitrous oxide
Nitrous oxide, which is also called laughing gas, is the mildest form of dental sedation a dentist may use. This is safe enough to use for children, especially those who may feel nervous during their visit. The effects of nitrous oxide are not nearly as strong as alternative solutions, and the patient is fully awake and able to respond to the dentist and staff. Nitrous oxide is administered by wearing a mask, which releases the nitrous oxide gas. Once the mask is removed, the effects of the nitrous oxide wear off relatively quickly. This form of sedation dentistry is generally used for less invasive procedures such as dental fillings.
2. Intravenous sedation
Intravenous (IV) sedation involves administering a sedative intravenously (through a vein). This produces a stronger effect than nitrous oxide, and the patient is less awake during the dental procedure. It also takes longer for the effects to wear off after treatment, so the patient may need to arrange for a ride home. IV sedation may also not be preferred among those who have a fear of needles.
3. Oral sedation
Oral sedation, as the name suggests, is taken in pill form. The patient may be asked to take the medication the night before and/or right before the dental procedure. This produces a similar effect as IV sedation, and the patient may not remember much of the dental procedure after the effects wear off. The patient should also arrange for a ride home. The dentist can provide instructions on how to prepare for oral sedation as well.
Ready to be more comfortable during dental treatment?
If you would like to learn more about how sedation dentistry can help you feel comfortable when receiving dental treatment, then contact our dental practice today. We can explain each option in greater detail and help you determine whether sedation dentistry is right for you.
Check out what others are saying about our dental services on Yelp: Sedation Dentistry in San Jose, CA.
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