The right choice of sedation can thoroughly eliminate the pressing worry that causes many otherwise brave Toronto adults to forego one beneficial dental appointment after another: the discomfort of having one’s sensitive gum tissue and teeth prodded extensively by prying fingers and instruments.
We could tell some patients time and again that a little temporary inconvenience and perhaps even a little lingering soreness is ultimately always preferable to an agonizing, prolonged toothache. Unfortunately, many will underestimate just what a balm expertly applied sedation can be even to the legitimately phobic whose oral health desperately depends on a timely dental procedure or just a routine cleaning.
Mild sedation will relax patients either generally or strategically limited to an affected area so that dentists and dental hygienists can treat an oral affliction quickly and effectively. The sedative chosen will usually depend on some combination of the parameters of the procedure, the medication’s availability, physical thresholds, and even the patient’s preference and severity of anxiety.
However, please realize that many procedures require the patient’s conscious cooperation and rule out general anesthesia. A local anesthetic will almost always accompany your sedation, but the sedatives themselves are classified in the following levels:
– MINIMAL SEDATION to keep the patient relaxed, but awake
– MODERATE SEDATION, previously known as “conscious sedation”, leaves patients very relaxed
– DEEP SEDATION keeps the patient awake, but only barely conscious
– GENERAL ANESTHESIA knocks the patient out entirely
Within those levels, sedation is available in a variety of delivery methods.
INHALED MINIMAL SEDATION blends nitrous oxide (“laughing gas”) with oxygen pumped through a mask that fits over the patient’s nose, resulting in a pleasant, dentist-controlled sedation that wears off quickly. Only inhaled minimal sedation allows the patient to drive home safely after the appointment.
ORAL SEDATION can vary from minimal pill ingestion an hour beforehand (typically Halcion, from the same drug family as Valium) to moderate degrees, depending on the dosage. Patients become drowsy but remain awake, though some do doze off under moderate sedation.
As the name implies, IV MODERATE SEDATION administers the sedative through a vein for fast effectiveness that can still be adjusted continuously as needed.
DEEP SEDATION and GENERAL ANESTHESIA administer potent medication that renders the patient nearly or completely unconscious for the duration of the procedure. Patients do not awaken easily until the anesthesia naturally wears off or is reversed with additional medication.
Remember that Oasis Dental Milton is committed to the greatest level of comfort possible during your visit. Your dentist and hygienist will be glad to answer any questions you may have and help you choose a mode of sedation that minimizes any physical and/or mental discomfort during any procedure.