What Sedation Is Used In Dentistry?
For some people, the prospect of undergoing any dental procedure is extremely stressful. Fear can cause these individuals to put off much-needed dental work. As a result, minor health issues can become major problems. For these patients, we provide three sedation options—oral sedation, IV sedation, and general anesthesia. These options provide a sense of calm for the patient so that we can take care of their dental needs.
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Dental patients with generalized anxiety, fear of needles and instruments, prior dental trauma, or a general fear of the dentist can take oral medication in order to reduce their anxieties. A minimal sedation level, the sedative effect allows more dental work to be completed in fewer appointments, as well as allowing complex procedures to be performed in less time. The advantages of oral sedation include ease of administration (you just have to take a pill), effectiveness, amnesic effect, and low cost.
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In-Office IV Sedation
Intravenous or IV sedation, moderate sedation level, is administered through a small needle that is inserted in the client’s hand or arm. This form of sedation is recommended to clients who need something stronger than oral sedation in order to relax. Because some patients may have an aversion to needles, we can also prescribe a mild oral sedative prior to administering IV sedation, or simply use a topical anesthetic to numb the area of the hand or arm where the needle will be inserted. Like oral sedation, IV sedation helps patients relax, but it typically works much faster and provides a deeper sedation. The patient will still be responsive while using IV sedation, unless they become relaxed enough to naturally fall asleep. At Dental Partners of Boston we have a highly trained Dental Anesthesiologist who performs IV sedation and general anesthesia.
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General anesthesia is typically used on patients whose fear of dental procedures is so great that they do not want to see, hear or feel the surgical instruments. This deep sedation option is also used on patients with physical disabilities and health issues. For example, general anesthesia can be of great benefit to a person with a tic disorder or lung disease for more extensive dental work. Due to the potency of general anesthesia, the patient basically sleeps throughout the dental procedure. The sedative effect lasts longer than oral sedation or IV sedation, and the patient will be observed for some time after the sedation is discontinued. General anesthesia is administered by a highly trained Dental Anesthesiologist at Dental Partners of Boston.
Oral sedation, IV sedation and general anesthesia each have their advantages, and prospective patients should carefully consider their anxiety issues while discussing the pros and cons of each sedation option with their dental practitioner. If you are particularly fearful of dental treatment, a Dental Partners of Boston dentist can help you relax by prescribing an oral medication to relieve your anxiety before your appointment. We will spend time with you discussing your concerns and planning your treatment. The important thing is to let us know about your fears so we can help!
If you are interested in learning more about sedation dentistry, please contact the Dental Partners of Boston to set up a consultation at our Boston dentist office.