- Category: Oral Surgery
What Is Sedation Dentistry?
A sedative is a drug that is administered to the body to create a relaxed, calm state similar to sleep. In dentistry, sedation can be used for a variety of procedures to help the patient feel more at ease during treatment. Traditionally the options for sedation have been limited to the inhalation of nitrous oxide (more commonly known as laughing gas) or intravenous sedation where the sedative is injected via needle through the blood vessels found in the hand or arm. However, today’s dental technology brings with it the option of oral sedation requiring no needles at all. Patients who chose to undergo oral sedation are prescribed a pill (Halcion) which they are to take one hour prior to their visit. When they arrive at their ‘ dentist, they will be awake but feeling relaxed and very drowsy. The patient is then immediately escorted and seated in the dental chair where their vital signs are monitored throughout the entire appointment. Patients will not be permitted to drive after sedation. When the patient is fully awake they will feel stress free and relaxed.
Remember: Sedation is NOT an anesthetic and so sedation alone will not provide any pain relieving qualities. A local anesthetic will also be administered in addition to the sedative to ensure patient comfort and safety. The anesthetic will be injected into the mouth after the patient is already sedated so patients will not be bothered or even remember having the injection.
Patients opting for oral sedation must arrive and leave their appointment accompanied by a responsible caregiver providing transportation to and from the dental clinic. It is advised that the caregiver also remain with you following the procedure for two to four hours in the comfort of your home.