How Does Dental Sedation Work? | Dental Treatment Guide

Dental sedation involves medications being introduced into your body which will have a sedative effect. This means that they will make you more relaxed, possibly less conscious of pain and decrease any irritation. These medications act quickly and are tailored so that their effects will last throughout the procedure. This state of relaxation will make dental procedures easier for you as the patient, and you will be monitored while sedated.

The most common form of sedation used in dentistry is inhalation sedation. You will most likely inhale a combination of nitrous oxide and oxygen (the nitrous oxide provides the sedative effect and the oxygen is to ensure that you do not suffocate as you might if you inhaled nitrous oxide alone for an extended period of time).

The process begins with the medical staff responsible for the sedation administering oxygen gas through breathing apparatus. Gradually, the nitrous oxide will be included and in increasing amounts.

When conscious dental sedation (such as inhaled sedation) is being used, the benefit is that you will be able to confer with the dentist and be aware of proceedings. This is beneficial because it will allow you to be comfortable and yet still exercise some control, this will reduce any feelings of vulnerability you may have (which is one of the main causes of dental anxiety and phobias associated with dentistry).

Dental sedation is a tried and tested method of dealing with dental anxiety or phobias. Due to the nature of dentistry, for as long as it has been practised there have been people who become anxious at the idea of having dental work performed. And for this reason, ways of dealing with this anxiety have evolved with improved knowledge in the field of medicine. The methods of dental sedation which are in use today have been used by medical practitioners for years, thereby improving practitioners' experience and training, making them more qualified to carry out dental sedation procedures.

However, some medical professionals are still doubtful about the safety of sedation techniques being used for children's dentistry. This is because sedative drugs have a stronger effect on children than on adults, especially when multiple sedatives are combined. There have been cases in the past when a combination of sedatives has proved dangerous and in rare cases, even fatal, when administered to children.

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