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Basics of Sedation

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A lot of people have their concerns while visiting a dentist. They are scared of the dental tools and equipment, and many of them cannot sit still in the dentist's chair. In such cases, sedation dentistry is used by dental professionals. The American Dental Association (ADA) has a few guidelines for this kind or practice. Most dentists need to complete a course before offering sedatives. You can see this article for more, but before that, here are some of the things you need to know about sedation dentistry.

Who is the ideal candidate?

Any person can be given a sedative, but anesthesia has a few risks, which must be considered. For example, if someone has heart diseases, diabetes or some of the other chronic conditions, he may need a nod from their primary healthcare physician for the treatment. Your dentist may take a call in this regard, after considering the medical history and other details.

Types of sedation used

Nitrous oxide. In most cases, nitrous oxide, also known as laughing gas, is used to reduce pain and other things like stress and anxiety. It doesn't cause extreme sedation and is considered to be one of the safest choices for dental offices. In most complicated treatments, nitrous oxide is used in sync with local anesthesia to reduce pain. The patient will nitrous oxide through a mask.
Oral sedation. This is more like a pill that's used for offering light sedative effects. It is known to many as "enteral sedation" and can be used along with nitrous oxide. The patient will be conscious but will not feel concerned about the treatment. This can also feel more like moderate sedation, which is used in many cases.
Intravaneous (IV) sedation. In such cases, the sedative is injected right in the bloodstream for immediate effects. The level of sedation is considerably higher but the patient is still in a conscious state and will be aware that the procedure is being done. With Intravaneous (IV) sedation, it is important to take some rest before leaving the clinic.

General Anesthesia. In extreme cases, General Anesthesia can be used as a measure of sedation. As the name suggests, the patient is complete unconscious during the procedure, and the sedative is injected right in the vein for quick effect. The recovery time with general anesthesia is quite high, and the patient might need to stay in the clinic for a much longer time.

Talking to your dentist

Dentists are generally trained and qualified to use nitrous oxide in their clinics, but for other kinds of sedation, additional training might be required. It again depends on the country they live in, but in the US, the dentist must have an additional license to perform sedation dentistry. If you are looking for certain kind of sedative based procedure, talk to the clinic to know if they have the permission to offer such treatments.

Also, take your time to discuss the risks at and concerns with your dentist that may pertain to your case.

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