Sedation is a means of administering a relaxant into the body, which helps calm the patients' nerves and can even put them into a state of sleep. Not all sedatives induce deep sleep. When patients are quite nervous and find it difficult to stay relaxed in the dental chair during the procedure, we may suggest mild sedation to ease their nerves. In other cases that involve pain, such as dental implantation, bone graft, etc., we recommend deeper sedation to numb the tissues in and around the mouth.
What are the common sedatives used?
Nitrous oxide:Nitrous oxide is often known by its informal name, laughing gas. It is called so because it makes even the most ordinary things seem funny and calms the patient down. Nitrous oxide is administered through a comfortably fitting mask placed on the patient's mouth and nose, through which they have to inhale the sedative. Within a few minutes, it takes effect and lasts for a while. It gradually wears off and leaves no side effects.
Oral pills: Administering sedatives in the form of oral pills is quite a popular option due to its ease. Patients would be put into a state of semi-sleep, during which they would have a very faint memory of the procedure. It is often considered as the intermediate level of sedation and is used for lengthy procedures.
IV sedation: IV or intravenous sedation is administered into the vein to induce a deeper level of sleep. It is usually preferred for procedures involving pain or discomfort, such as some significant surgeries. Since the drug takes a while to wear off and could leave you feeling dizzy, it would be advisable to bring a family member or friend along to drive you home.
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