The first thing we should cover is “What is sedation dentistry?” and “What is the difference between sedation and anesthesia?”
One of the first things that people think of when the dentist comes to mind is pain, so our first goal at Mint Dental is to make your visit as comfortable as possible.
The answer is anesthesia is an induced and controlled complete loss of consciousness that causes sedation, analgesia, amnesia, and muscle paralysis, which of course means the patient doesn’t hear, feel, or remember anything.
Sedation is actually a form of anesthesia, but when a patient undergoes sedation, they will still have a sense of awareness, just with limited response to external stimuli. This means that the patient does not feel pain, but they are aware of everything going on around them.
Sedation can vary from minimal, moderate, to deep. Minimal sedation can be used to relieve anxiety, moderate sedation induces mild loss of consciousness but will leave the patient able to respond to external stimuli, and deep sedation will cause loss of consciousness, but the patient will be able to respond to repeated or painful stimuli.
Different Types of Sedation Dentistry
Most dental procedures don’t need a full general anesthesia, but there are a lot of reasons many of our patients might want a mild sedative during a procedure.
As dentistry has evolved so have the forms and options for sedation. Each one has it’s benefits that we’ll cover below:
Oral Sedation is probably the most common form of dental sedation. This method of sedation leaves the patient feeling relaxed and comfortable, yet fully aware of what is going on. This form of sedation is perfect for people who don’t want to try IV or inhalation forms.
It’s also easy to administer, effective, has a high patient acceptance, and is more cost effective than IV sedation. On downside is that of it though is it can often take between 4 to 10 hours to completely recover.
Nitrous Oxide is often referred to as laughing gas and is used for inhalation sedation. When a dentist uses laughing gas, they’ll place a breathing apparatus over the patient’s nose to administer the gas. One of the big benefits of this method is that it only takes a few minutes to start to work and wears off fairly quickly afterwards.
Laughing gas is a light sedative, during which the patient will be conscious and are fully aware of everything going on around them. It’s normal to feel relaxed, slightly warm, and even have some tingling in hands and feet.
IV dental sedation requires a patient being administered anti-anxiety and anesthesia medications intravenously directly into the patient’s bloodstream. This type of sedation will go into effect within seconds, completely relaxing the patient in a sleep-like haze.
Oftentimes, once the procedure is complete, the patient will have no recollection of what had happened. During the procedure, you’ll be fully monitored to ensure you’re safe and comfortable, but unlike anesthesia, the dentist can easily wake you up if needed.
IV Sedation does require extra education to be used. Lucky for you several of the dentists on our staff have undergone this training!
Many people would prefer to visit the dentist if they knew that they could do so pain-free. With these three forms of sedation now you can! We can advise you to which type would be best for you and which is commonly used for the procedure you’re undergoing.
If you are looking for more information about the different forms of Sedation Dentistry check out our page on the topic, and to make an appointment visit our contact page or give us a call at 907-313-1864.