Anxiety is a serious problem – one that keeps patients from visiting the dental clinic even when they’re in need of treatment. Conscious sedation dentistry has paved the way for numerous possibilities, and holds countless benefits for both the patients and the dental surgeons. You can now bid farewell to the anxiety that overcomes you every time your dental appointment draws near, because once you’re comfortably seated at the clinic, you’ll feel it ebb away into complete calmness.

At Southern Smiles Dental, we offer multiple conscious sedation options to our patients based on their needs, requirements, medical history, and the level of anxiety they’re experiencing prior to the procedure.

Types of conscious sedation in dentistry

The most common types of conscious sedation techniques used in clinics worldwide include:

Oral sedation

Oral sedation is administered with the help of a pill one hour before the surgery. It has a rapid onset, which means that the patient will feel himself/herself calming down almost instantly after ingesting the drug. The recovery period is much shorter than that of IV sedation, for instance.

Inhalation sedation

Inhalation sedation is perhaps one of the most popular techniques of calming patients down in a dental setting. Nitrous Oxide, commonly known as laughing gas is used in this case. The patient inhales the gas through a mask placed over his/her mouth and nose. This too has a rapid onset, and has shown outstanding results in the management of severely anxious patients, before and during dental treatments.

IV sedation 

IV Sedation, also known as twilight sedation or sleep dentistry, is administered intravenously. The sedative agent is injected into the bloodstream of the patient through a vein located at the back of the hand, or in the inner elbow.

This form of sedation is ideal for patients who experience phobias or severe anxiety related to dental procedures, or clinics in general, and for longer, more complex treatments.

Dental Patient

Contrary to popular belief, IV sedation or sleep dentistry doesn’t actually put patients to sleep – it merely induces a feeling of drowsiness. You’ll remain awake and responsive during the surgery, but you’ll have no memory of it once the effects start wearing off. The recovery period is the longest among all conscious sedation dentistry

Management of anxious patients through sedation

Before sedation options were introduced, patients used to avoid or delay going to the clinic for two main reasons – first, the procedures were painful, or made them uncomfortable, and second, the memory or thought of previous unpleasant experiences would keep them from visiting the dentist. Fortunately, the methods of sedation that are being used at advanced oral healthcare facilities today address both issues most effectively.

Oral, inhalation, and IV sedation are all aimed at drastically limiting any chances of pain or discomfort prior to, or during the dental procedure, and also at inducing temporary amnesia which helps you forget any unpleasant details of the treatment. There is no need to worry however, because none of these effects are permanent, and do not alter any other part of your memory, in any way. Trust us when we say that if dental procedures make you anxious, then it’s better for you if you have no memory of them at all!

One of the best parts about conscious sedation dentistry is the fact that you’ll be able to communicate with your dentist throughout the treatment. Unlike general anaesthesia, at no point will you be completely asleep. Recovery time varies for each method, and we’ll need your complete medical/drug history before we can deem you eligible for sleep dentistry sedation. At Southern Smiles Dental, we use completely safe and controlled quantities of the sedative agents we administer, and we keep a close watch on our patients’ vitals throughout, and right after the procedure.

If you experience phobias related to dental clinics, or simply wish to learn more about conscious sedation dentistry and how it has helped many patients overcome their anxiety to get the oral care they need, simply give us a call and our team would be more than happy to help you out!

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