Sedation Dentistry

Sedation Dentistry in Calgary

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5th Ave Dental Centre

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Sedation dentistry refers to the use of medication to help patients relax during dental procedures. It’s often used for patients who experience anxiety or fear about dental treatment, helping them to feel more comfortable and calm during their visit. Sedation can range from mild to deep, depending on the needs of the patient and the type of procedure being performed.

Types of Sedation in Dentistry:

  1. Nitrous Oxide: Also known as “laughing gas,” this is a mild form of sedation. It’s inhaled through a mask placed over the nose, and it helps patients relax. Its effects wear off quickly once the mask is removed.
  2. Oral Sedation: This involves taking a prescribed pill before the appointment. The level of sedation can range from minimal to moderate, depending on the dose given. With minimal sedation, you’re awake but relaxed; with moderate sedation, you may slur your words and not remember much of the procedure.
  3. IV Sedation: This is a more controlled and deeper form of sedation, delivered directly into a vein. It works quickly, and the level of sedation can be adjusted as needed.
  4. General Anesthesia: This is the deepest form of sedation where patients are completely unconscious. It’s typically used for more complex procedures or for patients with severe dental anxiety.

Reasons for Sedation Dentistry:

  • Anxiety and Fear: Patients with dental phobia can benefit greatly from sedation, making it possible for them to receive necessary dental care.
  • Low Pain Threshold: Individuals who are sensitive to pain can be more comfortable during procedures.
  • Difficulty Staying Still: For patients who find it hard to sit still for long periods, especially children or individuals with certain disabilities.
  • Complex or Lengthy Procedures: Procedures that take a long time or are complex can be easier for both the patient and the dentist if sedation is used.
  • Bad Gag Reflex: Helps patients who have a strong gag reflex, making dental work more challenging.

Considerations and Safety:

  • Medical History Review: Your dentist will review your medical history and any current medications to determine if sedation is safe for you.
  • Monitoring: Vital signs are monitored during the procedure to ensure safety, especially with deeper sedation levels.
  • Certification and Training: Dentists who offer sedation are required to have special training, licenses, and equipment.

Post-Procedure Care:

  • Recovery Time: Some forms of sedation may require a recovery period before you can leave the dentist’s office.
  • Accompaniment: For moderate to deep sedation, you will need someone to drive you home and stay with you for a few hours.

Sedation dentistry has made it possible for many people to receive dental care that they might otherwise avoid due to fear or anxiety. It’s important to discuss all options, including risks and benefits, with your dentist to determine the most appropriate type of sedation for your needs.


Frequently Asked Questions about Sedation Dentistry

Q1: What is sedation dentistry? A1: Sedation dentistry involves the use of medication to help patients relax during dental procedures. It’s used to manage anxiety and discomfort, making dental visits more comfortable. The levels of sedation can vary from mild (relaxed but awake) to deep (where patients are almost or completely unconscious).

Q2: What are the types of sedation used in dentistry? A2: The main types include:

  • Nitrous Oxide: Also known as laughing gas, it’s a mild form of sedation.
  • Oral Sedation: Involves taking a pill and can range from minimal to moderate sedation.
  • IV Sedation: Administered through a vein and can be adjusted for varying levels of sedation.
  • General Anesthesia: Puts the patient in a state of deep sleep or unconsciousness.

Q3: Is sedation dentistry safe? A3: Sedation dentistry is generally safe when performed by experienced dentists who follow the proper guidelines. However, as with any medical procedure, there are risks involved. It’s important to discuss your medical history and any concerns with your dentist.

Q4: Who is a good candidate for sedation dentistry? A4: It’s ideal for patients who have high levels of dental anxiety, difficulty sitting still for long periods, a low pain threshold, a strong gag reflex, or those undergoing lengthy or complex dental procedures.

Q5: Will I feel any pain with sedation dentistry? A5: Sedation dentistry greatly reduces pain and discomfort. Most patients have little to no memory of the procedure and feel minimal discomfort afterward.

Q6: How long does the sedation effect last? A6: The duration depends on the type of sedation used. Nitrous oxide wears off quickly, while oral sedation and IV sedation may require more time for recovery. General anesthesia has the longest recovery time.

Q7: Can I drive myself home after sedation? A7: For mild sedation like nitrous oxide, you might be able to drive yourself home. However, for oral sedation, IV sedation, and general anesthesia, you will need someone else to drive you.

Q8: How should I prepare for sedation dentistry? A8: Follow your dentist’s instructions, which may include fasting for a certain period before the procedure and avoiding certain medications. It’s also important to arrange for someone to accompany you to the appointment if you’re receiving moderate to deep sedation.

Q9: What is the recovery process like? A9: Recovery varies by the type of sedation. You may feel groggy or sleepy afterward, especially if you’ve had moderate to deep sedation. It’s advised to rest for the remainder of the day and avoid strenuous activities.

Q10: Does insurance cover sedation dentistry? A10: Coverage varies depending on your dental insurance plan and the reason for sedation. Some plans may cover a portion of the cost, especially if the sedation is deemed medically necessary. It’s best to check with your insurance provider.

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