What is Sedation Dentistry?
Although local anaesthesia is often used to numb the teeth and gums during procedures, it is not enough to put those with dental anxiety at ease. So, for this reason, we use sedatives that help you relax. Sedation Dentistry is a branch of dentistry that uses drugs to provide safe and relaxing dental experiences, all while you are still conscious. In addition, it is much more affordable and less invasive than general anaesthesia and can be done at our dental practice.
What are the different types of sedation?
We use three tiers for sedation at our practice to treat various levels of dental anxiety.
- Light: You will be only slightly sedated but still fully conscious and responsive, and you can drive home after the procedure.
- Moderate: You will be fully conscious but may not remember much about the procedure and feel groggy. Having a lift home is essential as you won’t be able to drive.
- Deep: You will likely fall asleep and be unresponsive. This level of sedation is closer to general anaesthesia and, therefore, less common.
If you experience dental anxiety, we will discuss the various options that may be best for your level of anxiety.
How is conscious sedation administered?
We first start by discussing your dental fears and assessing if conscious sedation is ideal for you. From here, we can determine whether you will receive light, moderate or deep sedation, which will impact how it is administered.
- One of our friendly assistants will ask that you lie back in the patient chair and provide you with oral medication.
- We will wait for the sedative to take effect before starting the procedure.
- We monitor your breathing and heart rate throughout to ensure no issues occur.
- You will only receive enough of the sedative to last for the duration of the procedure.
- Depending on the intensity of the sedative, you may need to wait several minutes are the procedure to regain clarity and be driven home.
We do not automatically provide a sedative – these are only on request and if you meet the requirements. Chat to us before your appointment to arrange conscious sedation.
What are the side effects of conscious sedation?
Generally, dental sedatives are very light and have minimal risk involved. However, you may experience a few minor side effects, such as:
- No memory of the procedure
- Feeling drowsy or groggy
- A headache
- Feeling nauseous
- Low blood pressure
Please let us know if you experience anything unexpected during or after the procedure.
Who is qualified to receive conscious sedation?
Conscious sedation is for those who experience dental anxiety and fear, which prevents them from receiving necessary dental treatment, such as fillings or root canal therapy. We provide this service to children and adults and will consult with you beforehand to discuss the options and any health concerns that may prevent you from receiving sedatives.