The thought of having your tooth filled make your entire body tense? Are you afraid of dental treatment? Would you prefer to bear the pain of toothache rather than visiting a dentist? You are not alone. Lot of people have phobia for dental treatment. For people who avoid dentist, sedation dentistry might take away some of their anxiety.

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What is sedation dentistry ?

Sedation dentistry refers to the use of sedative drugs to calm and relax the patient prior to or during dental treatment. Sedation dentistry can be used for everything from simple cleaning to invasive procedures.

Level of sedation use includes:-

  • Minimal sedation- in minimal or light sedation patient is awake but relaxed.
  • Moderate sedation – in moderate or conscious sedation patient slur the words while speaking and do not remember much of the procedure
  • Deep sedation – patient is on the edge of consciousness but still be awakened
  • General anaesthesia or unconsciousness – patient is completely unconscious

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Types of sedation used in dentistry

1. Inhaled minimal sedation-The most common form of sedation  dentistry is the use of nitrous oxide or laughing gas. It is effective in reducing the patient’s anxiety. Dentist can control the amount of sedation the patient receives.

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2. ORAL SEDATION – In oral sedation dentistry a pill/medication is given one hour before the treatment. This pill makes the patient drowsy, but patient is still awake. This type of sedation is also known as Enteral Sedation.

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3. I/V SEDATION – sedative drug is injected via vein. This provides deeper anaesthesia, although patient will be awake but less aware of the treatment. This process requires recovery time after leaving the office.

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4. GENERAL SEDATION – in this procedure patient is asleep for the entire treatment. It is practiced using drugs that are injected directly into the vein along with possible inhalation of gaseous anaesthesia. A through recovery time is required before discharge.

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Who needs sedation dentistry ?

  • Patients who have difficulty controlling movement
  • Patient with cerebral palsy or Parkinson’s disease
  • Those who have bad gag reflex
  • Patient who have low pain threshold
  • General anxiety disorder patients
  • Paediatric patients
  • Patients with small mouth that becomes sore during dental treatment
  • Particularly sensitive oral nerves
  • Those who have phobia related to dental treatment
  • Those who have resistance to local anaesthesia
  • Who can not sit on dental chair

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  • Patient relaxation
  • Increased comfort
  • Movement control
  • Patient co operation
  • Control of gag reflex
  • Little or no memory of treatment
  • Time saving – fewer appointments needed

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  • Dry mouth – sedative drugs can causedecrease in salivary flow. Patient feels a dry mouth until effect of medication wear off
  • Ineffectiveness – for some reasons, smokers or people who are taking other drugs finds that sedation drugs do not work as well, as they should be.
  • Light headedness, Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Visual disturbance
  • Nausea
  • Hiccups

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Before you decide for sedation dentistry think. Like, if you have fear of needles, i/v sedation might cause more anxiety than the dental work itself.

If you are worried about becoming vulnerable on dental chair, you might want to stay alert and stick with local anaesthesia.

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