What are the different levels of sedation?

Huffman Family Dentistry

Many adults and kids fear to go to the dentist. Not only do they have anxiety about the tools that will be used but they may also be concerned with how painful it will be. Nowadays there are many different forms of sedation that dentists can use to help dull or eliminate pain. Below are just a few of the most common types of sedation that dentists use.

IV Sedation

An IV sedation is one common way that a dentist will sedate a patient. Not only is it quick and usually pretty painless but it also allows the dentist to adjust the sedation level as needed. While the patient is typically conscious during sedation they do not feel pain. An IV sedation is usually administered through a vein in the forearm or even the hand.

Oral Sedation

Oral sedation is one option that will make you drowsy and unable to feel pain although you will still be awake during the dental procedures. There are typically a few different types of oral sedation. Typically each one involves swallowing a pill that will slowly begin to make the patient drowsy and sleepy. Some forms of pills that are used are Valium, Halcion, and Sonata. Many patients prefer this method as swallowing a pill is very easy and doesn’t involve any needles or IV medication.

General Anesthesia

Although it is not as common to find dentists that offer general anesthesia it is an option. It is typically the best option for patients who have a lot of anxiety about visiting the dentist and even kids who have a lot of fear during dental procedures. General anesthesia is one of the only options for being completely asleep during procedures. It is usually performed by a specialist dentist that has been highly trained in providing general anesthesia.

Laughing Gas

Laughing gas is one of the more simple ways to be sedated during dental procedures. Although not every dentist offers this option it is still pretty popular. Patients breathe a nitrous oxide and oxygen mixture through a mask that is placed over the nose. The dentist then controls the amount of sedation you will receive and slowly the gas will help the patient to relax. Although nitrous oxide is one of the more simpler sedation methods most find that it simply does not last a long time and tends to wear off quickly.

These are just a few of the many different sedation methods that dentist have to offer. What type of sedation you receive will depend on your dentist as well as the procedure you are getting and your medical history and background. 

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