For dental treatments sedation can be given in one of three ways: Intravenous sedation (IV), Oral sedation or by Inhalation.
IV Sedation – this will be used by oral surgeons and dentists who have specialised training and certification. For this type of sedation, medications are administered directly into the bloodstream through and IV. Intravenous sedation provides a state of deep relaxation, you remain awake throughout the whole procedure however, you may not remember much or anything once the medication wears off.
Orally administered sedation – in this sedation a pill or liquid form of medication is taken. Although patients remain conscious, many relax so deeply that they fall asleep. Some degree of amnesia is common during this sedation also.
Inhalation sedation – this is the most frequently used sedation method in dentistry. Nitrous oxide and oxygen mixed together is breathed through a nosepiece. Most people will fall asleep during this sedation and experience some level of amnesia about what happened during their dental appointment.
During all types of sedation, the patient will always remain conscious as mentioned a few times above. However, sleepiness and amnesia are extremely common due to the dosage of the drugs used. One of the good things about sedation is that you are still able to respond to your dentists requests and questions. Some types of sedation take effect quickly and can be adjusted to suit your specific needs.
For patients who suffer from dental phobia or are anxious about receiving dental treatment, dental sedation may help in ensuring patients are able to go through with their dental treatment required.
Ian, the Mosman dentist. Dentist Mosman.