How Is Sedation Dentistry Used and What Are the Most Important Methods?

Sedation dentistry has become increasingly popular in recent years. Even though the use of traditional methods of sedation isn’t as prevalent today as it used to be, there are a lot of new methods and drugs available that allow dentists to have better control over the entire process. In the following, we will take a closer look at the various levels of sedation used in dentistry and which ones might be better used in your specific case.

relaxed woman

Types of Sedation You Can Consider

So are you thinking of getting deep sedation or moderate sedation? Depending on your unique levels of anxiety and preference, you can opt for one of a number of different options, when it comes to your sedation needs:

  • Minimal sedation involves the use of a mild sedative agent that allows you to remain conscious during the entire procedure. While you won’t feel anything, you’ll be awake, in a relaxed state of mind, and even able to hold conversations with the dentist and staff.
  • Moderate sedation used to be called “conscious sedation.” This is primarily because it involves a state of awareness at the brink of losing normal consciousness. Your speech might be slurred and you won’t remember a lot about the procedure.
  • With deep sedation, you will still be somewhat awake and in a state close to waking consciousness, so you can easily be awakened if necessary.
  • Finally, we have general anesthesia, which involves the most powerful types of sedation agents used in sedation dentistry. During general anesthesia, you are completely unconscious. This is primarily the type of sedation used during most types of surgeries, where the patient has to undergo extensive work.

How Is Sedation Typically Achieved in the Field of Dentistry?

Sedation is not the same in every medical field. In fact, there are fields where the substances used in order to achieve a dull level of consciousness are significantly stronger or simply different, compared to the ones used by most dentists.

In dentistry, you can expect methods such as inhaled minimal sedation to be used on a regular basis. This technique makes use of nitrous oxide – playfully known as “laughing gas” – which is a substance your kids are probably well-acquainted with. With the help of this gas, you’ll be able to relax, and in most cases, the compound will even wear off soon after you leave t he dentist’s office, so some dentists will even give you the all clear for driving yourself home after the procedure.

Oral sedation is also quite common. This method makes use of pills like Halcion and Valium, which are designed to be taken about an hour prior to the procedure you arrive for. Moderate sedation can also be achieved with the help of these drugs, however, the dosage required will be higher.

Finally, IV moderate sedation is achieved primarily through the direct injection of the sedation substance into the patient’s vein. This method gives the dentist a lot more freedom when it comes to adjusting the level of sedation, depending on the patient’s unique needs.

To find out which method of sedation dentistry would work best in your case, talk to your Highlands Ranch dentist or to a certified sedation expert today, and learn about all the details you need to know.