Sedation Dentistry: Soothing Anxious Patients
～ Supercare’s sedation dentistry ensures no tears, no fears, only smiles.～
Dental anxiety is the common fear of going to the dentist and can range from mild nervousness to a full-blown phobia. We all have had it when we were little, and some of us still do, and it is okay because sedation dentistry is here.
At Supercare, we understand that dental anxiety can be a significant barrier to receiving essential oral care. That’s why we offer sedation services to ensure your comfort during procedures.
Intravenous (IV) sedation is a highly effective method to manage dental anxiety. IV sedation dentistry is a specialised approach to managing dental anxiety and discomfort during procedures. It involves the administration of sedative drugs through an IV line, inducing a state of deep relaxation and calmness.
IV sedation dentistry allows patients to remain conscious and responsive while feeling significantly at ease. With IV sedation, you remain conscious and responsive during the procedure. You can even answer questions and follow instructions from the dentist.
Unlike general anaesthesia, which induces complete unconsciousness and is often used for extensive surgeries, IV sedation strikes a balance between awareness and relaxation.
Administered by a qualified anesthesiologist, Supercare’s IV sedation process provides optimal comfort, making dental treatments more tolerable for individuals with dental anxiety. It’s an ideal solution that ensures a relaxed experience and helps patients overcome their fear of dental procedures.
Types of sedation used in dentistry
Sedation dentistry includes various sedation options that help you become and stay comfortable during dental procedures. These include:
The choice of sedation depends on the procedure’s complexity and the patient’s anxiety level. Don’t worry, our experienced team ensures you feel safe and comfortable by tailoring the sedation method to your needs.
Preparing yourself for IV sedation
Preparing for IV sedation ensures a safe and comfortable dental experience. Here’s how you can be IV sedation-ready within a few easy steps:
- Fasting: Follow fasting instructions provided by the clinic, typically avoiding food and drinks for a specified time before the procedure.
- Medication: You may have to adjust certain medications before the procedure to ensure compatibility with sedation.
- Bring a friend: Arrange for a responsible adult to drive you to and from the appointment, as the sedative effects can linger for a while.
- Clothing: Wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing to ensure you’re at ease during the procedure.
- Questions: Feel free to ask any questions you have about the procedure, sedation, or post-treatment care.
- Relax: Focus on staying calm and relaxed, knowing you are in the capable hands of a Supercare dental professional.
Conscious sedation: Comfortable dental care
Conscious sedation is a controlled state of deep relaxation achieved through a combination of medications. Unlike anaesthesia, which renders patients completely unconscious, conscious sedation allows individuals to remain awake and responsive. While under conscious sedation, patients experience reduced anxiety, discomfort, and awareness of the procedure.
Although you may feel drowsy and less aware, you can still communicate with your dentist. This approach is particularly beneficial if you suffer from dental anxiety or are undergoing longer procedures. It ensures a comfortable experience while maintaining your consciousness at a level that allows you to talk and co-operate during the procedure.
Advantages of sedation dentistry
Sedation calms nerves and reduces anxiety, enabling you to undergo treatments without feeling any fear. Here are some of the best benefits of sedation dentistry:
- Sedation ensures pain and discomfort are minimised, making procedures more tolerable.
- Longer procedures feel shorter under sedation, allowing more work to be done in a single visit.
- You can relax and cooperate during complex procedures, ensuring successful outcomes.
- Amnesia-like effects of some sedatives mean that you don’t recall details of the procedure, easing any psychological distress.
- Sedation methods like nitrous oxide do not involve any needles and help you avoid needle anxiety.
- Patients are more willing to receive necessary treatments due to reduced apprehension.
- Sedation dentistry caters to children or those with special needs, ensuring positive dental experiences.
- Sedation also reduces the gag reflex, especially during procedures involving the throat.
Are you a great fit for IV sedation? Find out!
If dental anxiety has been keeping you from getting the dental care you need, IV sedation might be the solution you’re looking for. Whether you have a fear of needles, dental procedures, or just want to experience a more relaxed visit, our experienced team can help determine if IV sedation is the right option for you. Ultimately, the dentist will determine if you require sedation and in which form it should be administered.
Ticks (✔️) and crosses (❌) indicate ‘Yes, it is recommended’ and ‘No, not necessarily’, respectively.
Sedation dentistry FAQs
Yes, the risks of sedation dentistry include:
- Allergic reactions
- Breathing issues for individuals with respiratory issues
- Cardiovascular effects, including changes in heart rate and blood pressure
- Excessive drowsiness due to over-sedation
- Grogginess or disorientation
- Slight infection risk
After the sedation is administered, you’ll be closely observed as you gradually wake up from sedation. Rest is recommended for the remainder of the day, as sedation might leave you feeling groggy or disoriented. It’s crucial to arrange for someone to drive you home, as the effects of sedation can impair your ability to operate a vehicle. Stay hydrated and choose light, easily digestible foods. If prescribed, take any post-operative medications as directed. Follow any specific instructions from your dentist and give yourself ample time to fully recover.
Before undergoing sedation dentistry, your overall health is assessed to determine your eligibility for sedation. Depending on the type of sedation, fasting might be required for a specified time. Your dentist will provide pre-procedure instructions, including medication guidance and attire. The type of sedation, its effects, and potential risks will be explained, and transportation arrangements will be made since sedation can impair driving ability.
First, sedative medication is administered, which will induce a relaxed or sleep-like state. Vital signs like heart rate and blood pressure will be monitored throughout. Local anaesthesia might still be used for pain management. The dental procedure will be performed while you’re in a sedated state to optimise your comfort. Depending on your sedation level, you might respond to simple commands. After the procedure, you will be gradually brought out of sedation and monitored until fully awake.
Undergoing sedation dentistry during pregnancy requires careful consideration. Many dental procedures are safe during pregnancy, but sedation approaches vary. In general, elective procedures and sedation are often postponed until after childbirth to minimise potential risks to the developing foetus.
Dental sedation for kids can be safe when administered by trained professionals. Our paediatric dentists and anesthesiologists follow strict guidelines to ensure children’s safety during sedation. Various factors, such as the child’s age, weight, medical history, and the type of procedure, are considered. Minimal sedation, nitrous oxide (laughing gas), or conscious sedation are often used.
Conscious sedation can be appealing because it induces a relaxed and calm state, reducing anxiety and discomfort during dental procedures. While you remain conscious and responsive, you experience minimal pain and memory of the procedure. This option is especially suitable for those with dental phobia or anxiety. It also allows the dentist to work efficiently while ensuring your comfort.