Sedation for dental treatments in the clinic

What is sedation?

Sedation enables the dentist to perform a procedure on the patient in an effective way.

The specialist can do their job while the person receiving treatment is comfortable and in no pain.

Another reason for using sedation is for people who suffer from odontophobia, or fear of the dentist. This type of people experience high levels of stress and anxiety, their muscle become tense and they may even suffer from hypersensitivity to the choking reflex. This may be due to a direct negative learning experience and can be solved with some types of sedation.

What kinds of sedation can be performed?

There are several levels of sedation and each one is adapted to the person’s needs and their treatment, but they all affect the nervous system.

  • The most common form of sedation is local anaesthetic, which is administered with a metal syringe. It consists of an injection into the gum area and takes effect after a few minutes. It’s used to numb the mouth and is normally used for minor procedures like fillings.
  • Another lighter form of sedation is the oral administration of nitrous oxide and oxygen using a face mask. This is used in periodontal treatments, as the pain may be little more intense but stronger sedation applied intravenously is not necessary.
  • Lastly, the sedation we use in our clinics is intravenously administered conscious sedation. This is a medically controlled lowering of awareness that enables all the body’s defence reflexes in the airways to be kept alert. The patient keeps their ability to have their airway free independently and continuously, enabling them to have a correct response to physical or verbal stimulation, and they can respond to verbal instructions. The patient goes into a relaxed state, but without losing their ability to respond to the dentist’s instructions, as this isn’t a general anaesthetic.

Sedation is done intravenously and once the session is over, the effect is eliminated by other drugs to enable the patient to return home perfectly healthy and accompanied by a relative or friend. To sum up, the presence of an anaesthetist who carries out a conscious sedation procedure is the most comfortable and safe way of receiving dental treatment, both for the patient and for the dentist.

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