Know the Different Sedation Levels in Sleep Dentistry

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Do you postpone or avoid your dental appointments due to anxiety? You are not alone. Many people of different ages dread dental procedures, possibly because of the loud drill noises or the tools used during the procedures. Thankfully, sleep dentistry Encino allows you to be calm and relaxed during dental procedures. Read on to learn about the different sedation levels your dentist may use.

Types of sedation used in dentistry

There are different levels of sedation; the one your dentist uses depends on your unique needs. Examples of factors that determine the type of sedation your dentist uses include your anxiety level, length of the procedure, health history, and personal preference. Below are the most common types of sedation used in dentistry.

Nitrous oxide

Nitrous oxide or laughing gas can offer calming effects, making you less anxious during a dental procedure. You inhale the gas through a mask or nosepiece; the calming effects usually begin within three to five minutes. Throughout the procedure, your dentist will control the amount of gas you inhale and adjust the dosage as needed. Once the treatment is complete, you will receive pure oxygen to flush the nitrous oxide out of your system. The laughing gas leaves your system so quickly, so it is often safe to drive yourself home after the procedure.

Oral sedation

As the name might suggest, oral sedation involves taking a pill with sedative effects. Your dentist will administer this bout an hour before the start of your treatment. The most common pill dentists use is triazolam, but your dentist might use other medications such as zaleplon and lorazepam. But in pediatric dentistry, liquid sedation such as midazolam oral syrup is the preferred choice. Once the pill’s effect sets in, you become quite dizzy and may fall asleep during treatment. However, a gentle nudge can wake you up, so you can still communicate with your dentist if necessary.

Unlike nitrous oxide, which wears off your system quickly, oral sedation temporarily affects memory and motor skills. Therefore, you will need a friend or family member to drive you home afterward.

Intravenous sedation

Intravenous or IV sedation is the deepest form of conscious sedation in dental offices. Your dentist administers the sedative medications directly into your bloodstream through an IV line. Your healthcare provider will monitor your blood pressure, heart rate, and oxygen levels throughout the procedure and can adjust your dosage at any point. If you receive IC sedation, you are most likely to fall asleep and have little to no memory of the procedure when you wake up. Intravenous sedation is best if you have severe dental anxiety or are undergoing a lengthy procedure.

How safe is sedation dentistry?

Sedation dentistry is generally safe when administered by a certified and licensed provider. However, it can cause side effects such as lingering drowsiness, headaches, dry mouth, nausea, and vomiting. It can also be difficult to predict the effects of oral sedation pills; although rare, you may have an allergic reaction. Fortunately, your healthcare provider can prescribe drugs to counteract these side effects.

If you have questions about sedation dentistry, consult your provider at Sargon Dental.

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