Sedation for Dental Treatment
Not seeing your dentists because of fear and anxiety may lead to unwanted deterioration of dental health. Sedation dentistry helps you to feel more relaxed and comfortable on the dental chair during treatments.
Your periodontist will need to review your medical history before telling you which type of sedation best fits your needs. There are a few different levels of sedation listed below
Nitrous Oxide Inhalation Sedation
Commonly known as laughing gas, nitrous oxide is a suitable sedation for patients with mild-to-moderate anxiety. A nose piece is placed over the patient’s nose, and through the nose piece both oxygen and nitrous oxide are delivered. Many patients find that nitrous oxide helps them to take the “edge off” during dental treatment. Patient will be breathing 100% oxygen for a few minutes at the end of treatment. The main advantage of nitrous oxide sedation is that its effects can quickly be reversed, so that patient can resume his/her normal activities following the treatment.
Oral sedation is appropriate for patients with mild-to-moderate anxiety, who are undergoing a longer dental treatment. The patient will take the oral sedative medication about an hour prior to the dental appointment. The medication will make the patient somewhat relaxed and sleepy, but still conscious so that verbal communication between the dentist and the patient is possible. Depending on the types of oral sedatives given to patient, several hours are required following the administration of the sedatives before its effects are worn off. Therefore, it is essential that a patient is accompanied by someone who can drive home following treatment. Fasting of at least 6 hours is necessary prior to administering oral sedation.
Combined Nitrous Oxide & Oral Sedation
Nitrous oxide and oral sedation can be combined together to provide a synergistic effect, making the sedation than nitrous oxide inhalation or oral sedation alone. The sedative effects achieved when nitrous oxide and oral sedation are combined are in general stronger than when either is used alone. This type of sedation is very popular among patients who do not wish to go under intravenous sedation.
Intravenous (IV) sedation provides a deeper state of relaxation, making patients for the most part unaware of the surrounding environments, and not remembering the treatment procedures. IV medications are given through a small needle inserted in patient’s arm or hand to patient’s vein. No food or liquid (a small sip of water is fine) for at least 8 hours prior to sedation is required. Someone must be present to escort the patient home, as it is unsafe to drive following IV sedation.