Sedation (Dental Anxiety) Overview
Many people do not visit the dentist for regular checkups because they are too fearful or suffer from dental anxiety. Sedation dentistry offers an excellent way to provide a safe, anxiety-free, dental experience to those who are anxious about the dentist.
Sedation dentistry is often mistakenly thought to ‘knock out’ the patient when in fact, most sedatives allow the patient to stay awake during the procedure. Tiredness may be a side effect of some of the medications, but generally nitrous oxide, oral conscious sedation and IV sedation only work to reduce the anxiety throughout the dental appointment.
At Yorkton Dental, Drs. Koskie and Lamontagne are both exceptionally skilled in oral and nitrous sedation. Drs. Koskie and Lamontagne maintain hospital privileges at the Yorkton Regional Health Centre in order to address extremely anxious patients when other sedation techniques have failed.
Nitrous Oxide (Laughing Gas)
Nitrous oxide, or “laughing gas,” is used as a mild sedation technique. It is delivered through a nose mask, and is administered throughout the entire procedure. Nitrous oxide gives the patient a light floaty feeling relieving anxiety and reduces stress and pain during the appointment. There are few side effects associated with nitrous oxide, and it has been safely used in dentistry and medicine almost two centuries.
Oral Conscious Sedation
Oral conscious sedation is an excellent choice for people with mild dental anxiety. A sedative pill is provided prior to treatment in order to induce a moderate state of sedation. Though an oral sedative does not necessarily cause sleep, they usually dull the senses and calm the nerves. Usually, a dose of medication is taken prior to the appointment and sometimes the night before. It can also be used in conjunction with nitrous sedation to provide a deeper level of comfort.
Intravenous sedation is the deepest level of sedation without going to the hospital. Patients who have previously experienced IV sedation often report feeling like they slept through the entire procedure, although in reality they are often half awake throughout the procedure. It is administered through an IV in the arm allowing the drugs to work quickly. IV sedation will allow the surgeon to get to a deeper level to ensure comfort and potentially induce an amnesic effect causing the patient to forget most of the appointment. It is essential that an escort/designated driver is there for the entire appointment.
AT THIS TIME YORKTON DENTAL IS NOT OFFERING IV SEDATION, BUT we CAN REFER YOU TO AN ORAL SURGEON THAT WILL.
The last resort of sedation techniques in dentistry is to treat patients within a hospital setting. A medical anesthesiologist will administer the general anesthetic to ensure the patient is completely unconscious before dental treatment begins. Hospital dentistry is primarily used for very anxious children, special needs patients, and medically compromised adults.