Options for sedation dentistry

Sedation or “conscious sedation” is a deeply relaxed sleep-like state achieved by taking medication orally or intravenously. The patient remains conscious and can follow simple instructions, but feels no anxiety or fatigue associated with long procedures. The level of sedation can be varied from a simple relaxed frame of mind to a near sleep-like state, where the patient does not retain much memory of the procedure.

Sedation can be induced through various methods. Oral sedation requires no injections, only taking a sedative drug by mouth. It is most frequently used for anxiety and pain relief. Nitrous oxide (laughing gas) inhalation is another common way of producing conscious sedation. Its narcotic effect is mild, with no lasting problems. It is recommended that patients who are claustrophobic or cannot breathe through their nose should consider the oral sedation method.

Both of these methods are safe and side effects are extremely rare.  Intravenous (IV) administration, commonly reserved for oral surgery, is used for deeper levels of sedation and requires specialized training. The drug used for this method is Benzodiazepine. It is safe and effective for removing extreme anxiety before and during dental procedures.

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