How Dental Sedation Works

Many people experience serious anxiety about going to see the dentist because they fear that there may be a serious issue with their oral health. Often times, these people will associate their health condition with a painful medical procedure that could lead to long recovery times. Although this fear is well placed, modern sedation procedures allow a medical specialist to perform these procedures with minimal discomfort to the patient. In this blog, we’re going to discuss the different types of sedation dentistry and why you shouldn’t be afraid to visit a doctor when you need help.

What is sedation dentistry?

Sedation refers to a wide range of processes used to calm a patient before a medical procedure begins. Chances are, the term, “laughing gas” may come to mind. Although laughing gas (or nitrous-oxide) is commonly used to sedate patients who are getting root canals or crowns, sedation dentistry is a little more complex than that, and can vary depending on a patient’s needs, as well as the procedure that is being performed.

Contrary to what some may believe, dental sedation doesn’t have to do with the pain management your dentist will provide for you. Dental sedation has more to do with calming the patient and reducing the anxiety that comes with a visit to the dentist’s office.

Types of sedation

Laughing Gas (Nitrous Oxide)

Laughing gas is used to relax a patient and make a medical procedure easier for both the patient and the medical specialist. Since it’s a gas, if you stop breathing it, the effects will wear off rather quickly. When you receive this form of sedation, it will be administered through a nose apparatus through which you inhale the gas. Depending on the patient, this may be the only form of sedation they will need.

Conscious Sedation

Conscious sedation, or “oral sedation” involves taking a small dose of sedative before the procedure. Your dentist will prescribe the dosage and tell you when to take them. Usually, one pill will be taken the night before and the other right before the procedure. Like with laughing gas, you’ll be awake but a lot more relaxed.

Dentists use advanced techniques for monitoring your heart rate, blood pressure, and breathing during the procedure in order to apply sedation techniques appropriately and provide you with the care you need to stay comfortable.

Intravenous Sedation

IV sedation can come in one of two forms: “Twilight” is when you’re conscious, but not fully aware of your surroundings, while with general anesthesia, you’ll be completely unconscious. Although this is relatively uncommon for dental procedures, it may be advised for certain patients depending on their needs.

Consult with your dentist

Most dentists offer varying options for sedation and will consult with you to determine what would be best for the procedure. Although there is no standardized sedation technique, dentists will often have their own ways of calming patients and making their procedures go as smoothly as possible.

Contact Same Day Implants today to learn about our sedation options for tooth replacement in Seattle.