Sedation dentistry is when we use medication to help patients to relax during their dental visit to our North York dental clinic. There is a range of options that a patient may chose from for sedation during their dental appointment. From very light relaxed state (laughing gas) to sleepy/drowsy (oral medication) to deeper IV sedation which, will take you from disoriented to completely asleep.
Our team of experienced professionals at Summit Heights Dental is pleased to offer sedation & dentistry asleep. We understand that many people are concerned about maintaining their oral health and overall wellness, but that due to many factors, this can be difficult. Many patients have a fear of dentistry, some so much that it completely prevents them from seeking dental treatment all together. Sedation is a solution for many people with dental anxiety. Some patients who could benefit from our various sedation options include:
- Children who are anxious, very young, or non-compliant
- Patients who suffer from a strong gag reflex
- Adults with severe dental anxiety/fear
- Patients with needle phobia (dental freezing)
The levels of sedation are:
- Minimal sedation - you are awake but relaxed
- Moderate sedation (formerly called "conscious sedation") - you may slur your words when speaking and likely not remember much of the procedure
- Deep sedation - you are on the edge of consciousness but can still be awakened
- General anesthesia - you are completely unconscious
The following types of sedation are used in dentistry:
Inhaled Minimal Sedation (Nitrous Oxide):
You breathe nitrous oxide - otherwise known as "laughing gas" - combined with oxygen through a mask that's placed over your nose. The gas helps you relax. Your dentist can control the amount of sedation you receive, and the gas tends to wear off quickly. This is the only form of sedation where you may be able to drive yourself home after the procedure.
Sedation allows the patient to remain comfortable while undergoing a dental procedure. The amount of sedation will vary, based on factors like the type of procedure, the health of the patient, and how long it will take to complete the work.
Perhaps your procedure calls for a minimum of sedation. The mechanism may be in the form of a pill or caplet. Medication that is intended to alleviate anxiety and calm the nervous system is often used. Halcion is a prime example and works in the same way that other medications in the Valium family do. Typically, you are given the pill an hour or do before the procedure commences. By that time, you are relaxed enough to manage the procedure but still conscious enough to interact with the dental team if necessary.
If your procedure requires moderate sedation. You may receive a larger does of an oral medication, or be given some kind of anesthesia. These methods are enough to produce a mild sleep during the procedure, while still making it easy to wake the patient once the work is completed. With oral medication, a light shake of the shoulder and calling your name is enough. With anesthesia, the team will gradually bring you back to consciousness. In both instances, you will be given time to awake fully before being allowed to leave the office.
Whether mild or moderate sedation is used, rest assured the dental team is monitoring your condition throughout the procedure.
You receive the sedative drug through a vein, so it goes to work more quickly. This method allows the dentist to continually adjust the level of sedation during the appointment as needed. Deep sedation and general anesthesia. You will get medications that will make you either almost unconscious or totally unconscious - deeply asleep - during the procedure.
Sedation is often accompanied by the use of some type of local anesthetic. That anesthetic is applied to the area around the tooth or teeth where the dentist will be working. This numbs the area and provides a greater degree of comfort for the patient.
Some procedures require that you be given general anesthesia. This allows you to sleep during the procedure and be gently brought back to consciousness after the procedure is complete. You may leave the office in the company of a friend or family member after the effects of the anesthesia have faded to a reasonable level.
The numbing from the anesthetic will last for a longer period of time and help you remain comfortable during the first hours of your recuperation. Depending on the complexity of the procedure, the dentist may provide a prescription for pain medication. Use it only as directed.