Understanding dental sedation

Sedation dentistry is a standard practice, tailored to help patients remain at ease during complex or extended dental treatments.

Before the initiation of the treatment, your dentist or sedation specialist will insert a drip into a vein in your arm. This process will trigger a state of relaxation and slight drowsiness, though you’ll stay conscious throughout the procedure, capable of interacting and following instructions as needed. You will also be administered a local anaesthetic to ensure you do not experience any pain during the treatment.

During the procedure, your vital signs will be continuously monitored. Even if the entire treatment spans one or two hours, it will likely seem like only a handful of minutes due to the effects of sedation. Additionally, your recollection of the procedure will be minimal or non-existent due to the amnesic qualities of the IV sedation.

When is sedation used in dentistry?

Dentistry utilises sedation for an array of procedures, and sometimes even for simpler treatments if deemed appropriate.

For instance, patients receiving dental implants or undergoing wisdom teeth extraction. Both these procedures can be discomforting, particularly if the wisdom teeth are impacted or located in challenging positions.

Another common application of sedation is during comprehensive clearances, where it becomes a requirement to remove most, if not all teeth. Fundamentally, sedation is advantageous for any procedure that takes a significant amount of time and could be uncomfortable or stressful for the patient.

Therefore, it’s sometimes also used for patients who have dental anxiety or an intense gag reflex.

Deciding if sedation is a suitable option

In specific cases, your dentist may recommend sedation for an upcoming procedure. While you have the choice to refuse the sedation if you prefer not to have it, generally, if a dentist suggests this option, it’s likely because the procedure would be uncomfortable without it.

That said, if you have anxiety or concerns about a treatment, you can also bring up the topic of sedation with your dentist. If the use of sedation means you can proceed with a necessary treatment for your oral health rather than postponing it indefinitely, it might be an excellent option for you.

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Have any questions about dental sedation, or concerns about your upcoming appointment? Don’t hesitate to call Hutt Dental Hub today, and we will be happy to answer any questions you might have!