What Sedation Options Do Patients Have?
Sedation dentistry is the use of medications – oral, inhaled, or IV delivered – to relax patients so that their dental experience is comfortable and painless. This is particularly helpful for patients that:
- Have dental phobia or anxiety
- Are resistant to anesthetics
- Have medical conditions that make dental procedures more difficult
What are the most common types of sedation?
Conscious sedation: Conscious sedation can be achieved through the administration of oral medications or inhaled nitrous oxide. Patients are fully awake during their procedure, but they don’t experience any discomfort, whether physical or emotional.
Twilight sedation: This type of sedation is used for mid-level dental procedures like crowns. It’s administered through an IV or with nitrous oxide. Patients feel sleepy and relaxed and aren’t able to remember details of the experience. Technically, though, they are still conscious and can respond to our questions or requests to follow certain instructions.
Unconscious sedation: If a patient opts for unconscious sedation, they will receive general anesthesia administered through a mask or an IV. After a few moments, they will achieve a state of complete unconsciousness. They cannot be aroused or respond to questions or instructions. This type of sedation is restricted for patients with special needs, those who have significant restorative or surgical needs, or patients who experience resistance to other sedation options.