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Patients Can Curb Anxiety with Sedation Dentistry

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1.1 What is Sedation Dentistry?


Sedation dentistry uses many different types of sedation dentistry to relax patients during dental procedures. It is used to help calm patients who fear going to the dentist or dental treatments.

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2.1 Types of Sedation Dentistry


2.1.1 Nitrous Oxide:

Also known as laughing gas, is a combination of oxygen and nitrous oxide that is inhaled through a small mask that fits over the nose. Within a few minutes of the patient breathing normally through their nose, the patient will begin to feel its effect.  

This type of sedation delivers a calming "floaty" effect that relaxes the patient during certain procedures. Some patients may even feel a tingling sensation in their arms and legs, or that their body "feels heavy". It doesn't put patients to sleep, therefore, any questions or directions can still be responded to. Nitrous Oxide is a short-lived type of sedation, Meaning that it only actively affects the patient as long as they are inhaling a steady stream to maintain the effect and the effects completely wear off soon after the mask is removed.

2.1.2 Oral Sedation:

Oral Sedation is a method of conscious sedation dentistryconscious sedation dentistry where the patients take an oral sedative, usually benzodiazepines. "Benzos" affect the part of the brain that regulates fear and anxiety. The medication will make the patient drowsy, however, this type of oral sedation is much like nitrous oxide in that the patient is able to communicate with the dentist or hygienist during the procedure. It is often used for patients that have extreme dental anxiety and need a little more help than nitrous oxide can deliver. It is also used with patients that will be undergoing several treatmentsundergoing several treatments at once or that are having an invasive dental procedure performed. The oral sedative is taken about an hour before the appointment. The patient will not be able to drive, so it is important that they have someone with them that can bring them to and from their dental appointment and to care for them after they arrive home, until the effects wear off.

2.1.3 IV Sedation:

IV sedation administers anti-anxiety medication, usually Benzos, intravenously (placed in a vein). IV sedation, also sometimes called "twilight sleep" does not render the patient unconscious as anesthesia would. The patient is in a deeply relaxed state, but are still able to respond. However, the patient may not remember much of what occurred during the procedure. As with oral sedation, the patient will need to have someone accompany them to and from the appointment and stay with them until the effects wear off.

2.2 Conclusion

Ideally, sedation dentistry can create a calming environment for patients with severe dental related anxiety. It is important to discuss any concerns or apprehensions with the patient as well as getting a full medical historygetting a full medical history to determine if sedation dentistry is right for them.

[Read more about dental fear and anxiety]

This page was last edited on 22 May 2019, at 00:10.

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