Oral hygiene is essential to staying healthy, happy, and smiling; visiting the dentist every six months is part of an oral hygiene habit. But many people feel afraid of visiting the dentist. They become nervous at the thought of seeing a dentist. The primary reason for this fear is the painful treatment procedures. That is where sedation dentistry comes to the scene. This technique soothes the nerves of many anxious patients and gives them relief and comfort while they undergo dental treatments. However, there are many sedatives, and their use varies from patient to patient. Please read this blog to learn what sedation dentistry is, its types, what to expect, and more information.

What is Sedation Dentistry?

Sedation dentistry helps soothe your anxious nerves and relax during dental procedures. It’s a suitable option for those with dental anxiety or needing prolonged dental treatment. Sedation options include oral conscious sedation, nitrous oxide, and intravenous (IV) sedation. However, dentists need special certification to deliver some types of sedation medications.

Who Requires Sedation Dentistry?

Sedation dentistry is a safe technique that caters to the different needs of people of all ages. Generally, dentists recommend sleep dentistry options for those who have:
  • Dental Fear or Anxiety
  • A sensitive gag reflexes
  • A fear of seeing the dentist
  • Teeth sensitivity
  • A fear of needles
  • Senses of traumatic feeling while in the dental chair
  • Problem handling movements.
  • Reduced sensitivity to local anaesthesia.
  • Special conditions

What Are the Types Of Sedation Used In Dentistry?

Different levels of sedation dentistry are available based on a patient’s unique needs. A dentist uses a sedation technique based on your anxiety level, length of the dental procedure, personal preferences and health history. However, the most common sedations are nitrous oxide, intravenous (IV) sedation and oral conscious sedation.
  • Nitrous oxide

Nitrous oxide is also called laughing gas. Once you inhale nitrous oxide through a nosepiece or mask, it will start giving calming effects in three to five minutes. Next, your dentist will control the sedation amount you need and adjusts dosages accordingly. Finally, your dentist will give you pure oxygen to flush the nitrous oxide out from your body upon completing the dental procedure. This procedure allows you to drive yourself home after the procedure.

  • Intravenous (IV) sedation

IV sedation dentistry is the most effective form of conscious sedation available in dentistry. In this method, your dentist uses an IV line to deliver sedative medications directly to your bloodstream. In addition, the dentist will monitor your heart rate, oxygen levels and blood pressure. They can use reversal medications or adjust your dosage at any point of the treatment if it’s essential. Most patients receive IV sedation dentistry to fall asleep with little or no memory of what happened in their treatment after they wake up.

  • Oral conscious sedation

In oral conscious sedation, generally, the dentist gives sedative medication in pill form about an hour before the dental procedure begins. However, a dentist often uses liquid sedation in oral syrup form in paediatric dentistry.

Oral sedation makes you groggy, and you may tend to fall asleep. But it allows you to communicate with your dentist if necessary. Since oral sedation temporarily affects your motor nerves and memory, you must take the help of a friend or family member to drive you home after you complete the treatment procedure.

  • General Anaesthesia

General anaesthesia is unconscious sedation that can be used on people with severe dental anxiety. It will make you completely unconscious during the procedure. It requires specialised training to provide general anaesthesia. In most cases, an anaesthesiologist administers this type of anaesthesia.

What To Expect Before Sedation Dentistry?

You will ask about sedation options during your initial consultation with your dentist. First, your dentist will discuss your health history and ask about medications or supplements you are currently taking. Once your dentist gathers all the necessary information about you, he will recommend sedation based on your health conditions and specific needs. Usually, dentists recommend their patients not eat or drink anything for a minimum of six hours before the start of their dental procedures. In addition, remember to tell your dentist if you are currently taking any blood thinners. Your dentist will recommend you skip these medications for a few days before your dental treatment begins.

What To Expect During Sedation Dentistry?

Your dentist will administer sedative medications to calm your nerves before beginning his dental procedure. In addition, you may receive local anaesthesia to numb your gum and teeth.

What To Expect After Sedation Dentistry?

You must have a responsible friend or family member who can drive you home after completing the treatment procedure. This is because you need to rest until the sedative medication’s effect wears off. However, if you choose nitrous oxide as your sedation, you can drive your car home yourself.

Expert Sedation Dentistry In Melbourne

If you fear seeing your local dentist, why not seek our specialist sedation dentistry? Call Sunshine Dental Group on (03) 9133 8659 or request your appointment to know how sedation dentistry will work in your case.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does sedation dentistry really work?

Yes, sedation dentistry works successfully for almost all cases. It is applied for different dental treatment processes, from tooth whitening to complex procedures. The drugs used in the form of injections, oral pills etc. help patients to relax and get rid of any fear during dental treatments. Your dentist will examine your health conditions and other medical histories to determine the most suitable sedation medication.

Is sedation dentistry safe for a pregnant woman?

Sedation dentistry is considered safe, but it is generally not recommended during pregnancy. However, it is best to inform your dentist about your pregnancy during your initial consultation. He is the best person to decide whether it is suitable for your case or not. Some sedative medications may affect the development of your foetus. However, the dentist may give nitrous oxide during the second trimester, but it depends on different factors. Most dentists wait for your pregnancy period to get over to administer sedation dentistry. In addition, it is essential to take care of your oral health and hygiene during your pregnancy.

Is sedation dentistry an affordable option?

The cost of sedation dentistry depends on the time required for the treatment. In addition, the price varies with the sedation dentistry types and drugs used by the dentist. You can also calculate it considering your insurance coverage, geographic location, dentist reputation, and experience. However, the average sedation dentistry cost in Melbourne can range between $200 and $300. You can contact our staff to discuss your issues and know the type of sedation dentistry suitable for you. In addition, you can get a price estimation of sedation dentistry in your case.

What is the recovery time of sedation dentistry?

Recovery times are different for different individuals. It can’t be the same for everyone but varies from case to case. It depends on the type of sedation medication your dentist chooses and how your body responds to it. In general, people who get nitrous oxide as sedation recovers in a short time. They take 15 to 30 minutes to recover from the effects of sedation fully and can drive themselves home after their dentist appointments. However, those who choose IV sedation or oral conscious sedation generally need 24 hours to recover.


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