Sedation dentistry makes dental treatment that might otherwise be stressful and frightening for some patients more accessible. The goal of sedation dentistry in Metrotown is to help people with significant dental fear, anxiety, sensitivity to pain, problems relaxing or a sensitive gag reflex relax enough to receive treatment comfortably and safely.
A dentist in Metrotown can provide sedation dentistry through a variety of drugs and methods to achieve the precise level required by a patient’s needs and the type and length of procedure they’re going to undergo. Sedation is available at varying levels (from mildest to most significant) via: nitrous oxide or laughing gas during treatment; oral sedation via a pill taken prior to treatment; intravenous (IV) sedation during treatment; and treatment under general anesthesia with medical supervision. Undergoing sedation dentistry near you is appropriate for patients of all ages, including children with special needs and who have difficulty staying still during treatment.
How should I prepare for dental treatment under sedation?
In the six hour period before undergoing dental treatment under sedation, you should not eat any solid or semi-solid food. For two hours before receiving sedative drugs, you should not drink any liquids.
Because nitrous oxide (laughing gas) clears from your body quickly after you stop inhaling the gas, you will be able to drive home after treatment under laughing gas. After treatment with help from oral sedation, IV sedation or general anesthesia, though, you will not be able to drive home. You should make prior arrangements for transportation to and from your appointment.
Will I be awake?
It depends on the type of sedation you receive. If you are sedated with nitrous oxide, you’ll remain conscious at all times while experiencing a sensation akin to giddiness in a state of relaxation. Oral sedation — sometimes referred to as conscious sedation — establishes a deeper level of sedation than nitrous oxide, but you’ll remain awake. Though you’ll be awake during treatment, you may not remember anything about it once the sedative effect wears off. Intravenous sedation can produce a “twilight” level of sedation during which you’ll still be conscious, but largely unaware of what is happening during treatment. The deepest level of intravenous sedation is general anesthesia that is used only for the most complex and challenging procedures. A patient under general anesthesia is completely unconscious during treatment.
Does sedation dentistry help patients with special needs?
“Special needs” is an extremely broad category and just how sedation dentistry can help any particular patient will depend on their medical history and personal needs. Generally speaking, though, sedation dentistry makes dental treatment much more accessible and comfortable for people with a wide range of mental, emotional and sensory disorders — children with autism for example.
Does sedation dentistry help dentists, too?
Dentists can perform procedures much more efficiently and quickly when their patient is relaxed — physically and emotionally. The dentist can be less concerned (albeit still vigilant) about clenched muscles or sudden movements or reactions. In many cases, dentists are able to perform multiple procedures in a single appointment while treating patients under sedation. The ability to cluster treatments has multiple advantages: it may reduce costs compared to a series of individual appointments; and anxious or special needs patients may be required to attend fewer stressful appointments.
If you think sedation dentistry may bring necessary routine or urgent dental treatment within reach for you or a family member, contact a dentist near you to discuss what sedation options they offer and to ask for an assessment of your needs. Even natural and common anxiety and fear do not need to pose a barrier to essential dental care.