Sedation dental procedures, also known as conscious sedation, involve the use of medication to help patients relax and feel more at ease during dental treatments. There are various reasons why a person might opt or a doctor might recommend sedation for a particular dental procedure, including:
- Dental anxiety or phobia: Sedation dentistry can alleviate the strong fear or anxiety that many people experience during dental visits, enabling them to receive necessary dental care.
- Complex or lengthy procedures: Sedation can render time-consuming or intricate procedures, such as root canals or extractions, more bearable by promoting relaxation and comfort.
- Sensitive teeth: Sedation can help alleviate pain or discomfort for individuals with particularly sensitive teeth.
- Physical or mental disabilities: Sedation can make dental procedures more manageable for patients with physical or mental disabilities who may struggle to sit still or follow instructions.
- Gag reflex: Sedation can help reduce a strong gag reflex, making certain dental procedures more comfortable for the patient.
There are several ways sedation is administered, such as oral sedation, intravenous (IV) sedation, and general anesthesia. Which method we choose will depend on the patient’s specific needs and the procedure’s complexity. Some of the latest drugs used in sedation dentistry include midazolam, diazepam, and propofol.
The differences between the way you receive sedation are pretty clear-cut. Oral sedation entails taking a pill before the procedure to promote relaxation. IV sedation involves administering medication directly into the bloodstream via a vein, enabling the dentist to adjust sedation levels as needed during the procedure. General anesthesia, typically reserved for more invasive or complex procedures, causes the patient to lose consciousness entirely.
Remember, there is a big difference between dental anesthesia and general anesthesia. With sedation dentistry, patients remain conscious and capable of responding to verbal commands, although they may be a little woozy. General anesthesia renders the patient unconscious and unresponsive to commands.
Sedation dentistry can be a beneficial option for patients with dental anxiety or phobia, sensitive teeth, or those undergoing complex or lengthy procedures. Several sedation types are available, with the choice depending on the patient’s individual needs and the procedure’s complexity.