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The Different Types of Sedation.

Many patients have anxiety about certain procedures and sedation can be a great tool to help with these fears. This is called sleep dentistry and there are multiple options when it comes to sedation. Being put to sleep can seem scary for some people, so the purpose of this blog is to talk about the different types of sedation and their uses.

Before we discuss the individual types of sedation, let’s talk about what it even is. There are multiple sedation techniques, which can be used for calming patients either before or during procedures or to help patients be more comfortable during long procedures. The most familiar sedation technique is laughing gas. This is commonly used for root canals or when getting a crown. The purpose of sedation is not to remove pain. It is the job of the numbing agents and shots to remove the pain. But some people can’t handle shots and the sedation can help calm them to the point that a shot no longer bothers them. Here are the different types of sedation.


Laughing Gas

The technical name of laughing gas is nitrous oxide. It is used to relax patients during procedures. You are awake when using laughing gas, it does not put you to sleep. One of the benefits of laughing gas is that it wears off quickly when you stop breathing it. Because it is short lasting, you can often drive yourself home after the procedure. The laughing gas is applied through a nose breathing apparatus and can take effect in under a minute.


Oral Sedation

This is often called conscious sedation and involves taking a sedative that the dentist will prescribe to you. Usually, one pill is taken the night before the procedure and one is taken close to the dental appointment. However, always follow the dentist’s instructions. Those that have a high level of anxiety often benefit greatly from oral sedation. Although you are awake during the procedure, many patients remember little of what happened. While this may be a good option, it also doesn’t wear off as quickly as laughing gas, and you will need someone to drive you home.


IV Sedation

There are a few variations of IV sedation. The first one is sometimes known as twilight, this is where you are conscious but hardly aware of your surroundings. You will feel very sleepy while this sedation is used. If the dentist can wake you, even when this type of sedation is used. The other type of IV sedation is general anesthesia, and this is uncommon for sleep dentistry. It usually is only used for those who need significate oral surgery. When general anesthesia is used, you are totally unconscious. This does require an anesthetist to monitor your vital signs.


What kind of sedation can dentist use?

Pretty much every dentist can use laughing gas or prescribe oral sedation pills. There are fewer dentists who perform IV sedation. Usually, dental surgeons are more commonly the ones certified for these types of sedation. Most dentists don’t need to use IV sedation often.


Do you need sedation?

Talk to you dentist if you have worries or concerns about an upcoming appointment or procedure. The need for sedation changes for every patient and the dentists can talk to you about the options that are available to you. Here at East Center Dental, we want to make every patient as comfortable as possible.