Is Sedation for Dentistry Right For You?Monday, September 24, 2012 by: Dr. Biasucci
Everyone has fear of something in life...whether it be small spaces, spiders or public speaking, each are valid fears which need to be validated by those who come in contact with you.
According to the Dental Organization for Conscious Sedation (DOCS) and other sources, up to 75% of the US population have some degree of dental fear from mild to severe. These fears lead to avoidance of dental visits, which often leads to larger dental problems that necessitate emergency treatment and often more dental treatment than if the problems were caught earlier or a regular care regimen followed.
For mild anxiety about dental treatment, nitrous oxide gas can be used. Nitrous oxide gas, also known as laughing gas allows a patient to feel more relaxed. Nitrous oxide allows a person with minmal anxiety to attend for dental treatment and allows them to drive home after the appointment as the mild sedation effect is reversed once the gas is turned off.
For the most phobic patients conscious sedation may be chosen.
Conscious sedation takes place typically in a dental office, though not all dental offices may offer this as the dentist must undergo training and the office licensed by the RCDSO to offer moderate depth of sedation. With conscious sedation a medication is taken while under continuous supervision and monitoring incluing blood pressure, pulse and blood oxygenation. The patient will be awake and able to respond but becomes oblivious to what is going on. Typically after the dental appointment a person will not remember what happened during the appointment. Most of the time all the treatment a person needs can be completed in one appointment.
IV Sedation and General Anesthesia. Some choose to have the deepest forms of sedation. These are typically reserved for complex surgery or very difficult procedures. The most common procedures requiring this depth of sedation are wisdom tooth extraction and jaw surgery for orthodontics. These options are typically reserved for oral surgeons, and general dentistry procedures like fillings, etc. are not typically done at this depth of sedation.
For more information on the different types of dental relaxation and sedation please visit the Northern Dental Care website at,
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