A Better Understanding of Oral Sedation

A Better Understanding of Oral Sedation

Feb 01, 2021

Statistics show that for every four people, three of them have dental fear. At Pediatric Dental Wellness in Houston, we have a dentist in 77099, offering both IV and oral sedation to support patients with dental fear and anxiety. Read on to find out more about sedation dentistry.

Pill sedation or in simpler terms, oral sedation, helps keep dental patients comfortable during certain oral procedures by reducing their pain, anxiety, and discomfort. This relaxation is often induced by some medications or local anesthesia in some cases. Oral sedation is mostly used in dentistry in patients who panic or get anxious during procedures like root canals, routine cleanings, or fillings. Conscious oral sedation was formerly called: happy gas, twilight sleep, happy air, laughing gas, or sleep dentistry.

More About Sedation in the field of Dentistry

Below are the approved types of sedating methods applied in dentistry:

  1. Oral sedation – involves taking a pill an hour prior to the procedure.
  2. Inhaled-minimal sedation – This method involves inhaling a mixture of nitrous oxide and oxygen via a gas mask that will be placed over the patient’s nose. The dentist is who controls the sedation one will receive, and it’s the only sedation form where one is able and allowed to drive him/herself home following the completion of the procedure.
  3. General anesthesia and deep sedation – The type of medications given here will make an individual totally or almost unconscious throughout the procedure. It is difficult to wake up someone who has had general anesthesia until its effects wear off.
  4. IV sedation – It entails receiving the sedative medication via a vein in the body. This means that it will start working more quickly than other methods.

What Oral Sedation Feels Like

There are about four sedation levels used, and they include:

  • Deep sedation – The patient is on the verge of losing consciousness, but he or she can be awakened.
  • Moderate sedation – An individual under mild sedation, formerly known as conscious sedation, may slur words when they speak and aren’t going to remember most parts of their procedure.
  • Minimal sedation – One is relaxed but fully awake.
  • General anesthesia – The patient is completely unconscious.

According to our dentist in South West Houston, sedation effects will differ from one patient to another, but the most experienced feelings are relaxation and drowsiness. Once it takes effect, all negative emotions, anxiety, or stress disappear gradually. It sometimes may feel as if the world slows down. Your response and reaction to a conversation or physical stimuli may be delayed, and so may your reflexes too. Sometimes patients start laughing or smiling without a cause; that’s why nitrous oxide is referred to as laughing gas.

Oral Sedation Advantages

  • No needles – Most people who have a fear of going to a dental office are likely to fear needles too. Thanks to oral sedation, such persons don’t have to get pricked with a needle since they can take this sedative orally.
  • Responsive – Although pill sedation makes its users drowsy, they keep awake and still possess the ability to respond to questions and changes within the environment. Thus, they can listen and give a response to the dental practitioner’s instructions or questions.
  • It’s safe – Since the Food and Drug Administration has approved the use of oral sedatives, it is highly unlikely that you will experience any life-threatening side effects.
  • Amnesia – A strong oral sedative dose makes patients have little or sometimes no memory at all about the dental procedure they underwent. This can be great for people with dental fear because they won’t recollect the things that went down while sedated.
  • Can be administered easily – Of all types of sedation available, the oral sedation administered by our dentist in Houston is one of the easiest. The patient is given a pill to swallow an hour prior to the appointment. The pill will help keep him/her calm and relaxed before the procedure commences.

The Cons

  • Since it takes time for oral sedatives to start working, one must arrive earlier for the appointment to create time for the “extra time” necessary.
  • The effects of this form of sedation cannot be reversed quickly, mostly because the pills’ effects take time to wear off just like they did take time to come into effect.

Book an Appointment