Through the use of sedation dentistry, dental patients suffering from anxiety can experience worry-free treatment.It’s estimated that almost 1/3rd of the population avoid necessary dental treatment due to apprehension associated with dental office visits. Abstaining from regular dental hygiene treatment can perpetuate dental issues that should be solved by routine maintenance.
Conscious sedation dentistry refers to maintaining the minimal level of consciousness in which the patient retains the ability to independently maintain their own breathing, while responding to appropriate physical stimulation and verbal commands. It indicates a state where the patient is completely relaxed, but still conscious. This does not always mean awake; sometimes in conscious sedation the patient becomes so relaxed that they actually fall asleep. In sedation dentistry, there are three primary methods to achieve conscious sedation.
Intravenous (IV) sedation, which is sometimes called moderate conscious sedation, can be the most advanced tool of sedation dentistry. This form of conscious sedation is directly administered into the blood stream. This method has several advantages when compared to other techniques.
IV sedation is a more effective delivery method when compared to administering the same drugs orally. The effects are also instantaneous. This means that if a patient were not sedated enough, the administrator could increase the dosage without having to wait for the effect.
Also known as “laughing gas”, nitrous oxide is the most common method used to achieve conscious sedation. It’s estimated that 45 million dental patients in North America are sedated with nitrous each year. This method of inhalation sedation has a long history of use in dentistry. It was first used by Dr. Horace Wells in 1844, and had gained wide acceptance by 1863.
Nitrous oxide contains several properties that make it highly valuable as a conscious sedation agent. It has a rapid onset of effective therapeutic action, with quick recovery from its effects and little to no hangover qualities. It does not require the presence of an anesthesiologist, and presents a wide dosage margin within safety limits.
Oral sedation dentistry refers to conscious sedation achieved through taking a pill. Sometimes known as Enteral Sedation, it is commonly achieved through the use of benzodiazepines. The drugs are effective and safe, while providing the dentist a wide variety of choices for the specific needs of each patient.
Pharmacological choices ensure that each patient is paired with the exact medication best suited for their unique needs.
The dental professionals at Dr. Ueckert’s office are certified and licensed practitioners, providing all types and levels of conscious sedation dentistry. If anxiety has caused you to avoid routine dental visits, contact our office to experience dental services in a comfortable and relaxed manner.