IV Sedation And General Anesthesia
For many children and adults, getting dental work is among their greatest fears. Whether they had a previous negative experience or are basing this opinion on word of mouth, dental visits can result in high levels of anxiety and even panic attacks. Local anesthesia is typically used for dental procedures, and while this ensures that the patient will not experience pain, it does nothing for their emotional well-being. You are awake and conscious under local anesthesia, and this can be distressing for many patients. Deeper levels of sedation are available for patients who experience this fear to ensure that their dental procedure is both physically and emotionally painless.
What Is Sedation Dentistry?
Sedation dentistry is when medication is given to enhance your level of comfort and relaxation during your dental procedure. Utilizing deeper levels of sedation results in less anxiety, pain, awareness, and recall. Sedation dentistry is safe, and your health will be closely monitored for the duration of your treatment.
Sedation Dentistry Can…
- Ensure a physically painless procedure
- Ease anxiety and tension
- Comfort fearful children
- Assist those with pre-existing medical conditions who may have difficulty with local anesthesia
Nitrous Oxide Sedation
Nitrous Oxide Sedation
Also known as “laughing gas,” nitrous oxide is a safe and effective sedative agent mixed with oxygen. You will remain conscious with this type of anesthesia as you inhale the sedative through a mask fitted over your nose to help you relax during your procedure.
Oral sedation involves orally taking medication in pill form before your procedure to help you relax. Various medication options and dosages are available based on the extent of your treatment and/or anxiety.
Intravenous sedation is more commonly known as “conscious sedation” or “twilight sleep.” With this type of anesthesia, you will not be unconscious, but instead find yourself deeply relaxed. You will not remember the procedure after the sedation wears off.
If you are put under general anesthesia, you will remain unconscious for the entire duration of the procedure. As you will be asleep, you will be completely unresponsive to commands and unable to be roused by painful stimuli. Medication can be administered intravenously or through a breathing mask. Your oxygen levels and vital signs are closely monitored by the anesthesiologist.
Frequently Asked Questions
The medication and treatment for sedation dentistry is billed separately from your dental procedure but may be covered by your insurance. You should contact your insurance provider to see if your sedation dentistry will be covered.
A licensed dentist and/or board-certified dental anesthesiologist will administer the sedation or anesthesia and remain during the procedure to ensure that you are safe and that there are no unexpected complications. Blood pressure, pulse, and blood-oxygen levels are all closely monitored during the procedure.
Sedation dentistry can be beneficial during any dental procedure that may stimulate fear and anxiety. Some of these procedures include gum surgeries, extractions, dental implant surgeries, deep cleanings, and other prolonged dental procedures.
After nitrous oxide sedation, you will be able to drive yourself home. However, with oral sedation, IV sedation, and general anesthesia, a driver will be necessary to take you home after your procedure, as the medication will qualify you as legally intoxicated. You will feel fine, just a little tired, when you leave the office.
Sedation dentistry is safe for children and ideal for those who are nervous or anxious about their dental procedure. Sedation dentistry can provide a stress-free experience for both you and your child.