Sleep dentistry is very popular among those who find a visit to the dentist makes them anxious or uncomfortable. There are three types of dental sedation, each inducing a different level of relaxation. During your first consultation, our team will carefully assess which sedation dentistry approach will make you most comfortable.
IV conscious sedation is the most powerful and effective sedation technique available to general dental practices. A sedation dentist will introduce intravenous drugs into the blood stream to help patients relax and adopt a carefree attitude, even when faced with situations that would normally be quite stressful. Because they are so deeply relaxes, most patients end up falling asleep during their dental appointments!
IV sedation provides anti-anxiety sedatives that allow patients that are either anxious when it comes to dentistry, have a severe gag reflex or have unusual reactions to traditional local anaesthetics to receive necessary dental care and maintain better oral health.
IV sedation allows the sedation dentist to administer local anaesthetic and proceed with a normal course of treatment without having the patient experience any emotional or physical distress.
It is not uncommon for patients to have complete or partial memory loss for the period of time immediately after the intravenous drugs take effect, right until the end of the appointment.
It is important to note that patients that are undergoing IV sedation are required to have a travel companion to help ensure that they get home safely.
Due to the nature of the intravenous drugs that are used, dentists wanting to provide sleep dentistry must undergo a rigorous training regimen to become certified. Once certified, the sanctioning body (RCDSO) closely regulates their practitioners to ensure that patient care always remains the primary focus.
Oral conscious sedation is used with patients that suffer from mild anxiety when attending their regular dental appointments. Traditionally, a single prescription of the oral sedative is prescribed and patients will take the pill an hour before their scheduled appointment.
It is a great option for most patients suffering from a mild form of anxiety. However, due to dose calculation procedures, approximately 25% of the population does not respond to oral sedation and remain unaffected by it. This means that for that segment of the population, oral sedation is not a viable option.
As with IV sedation, we insist that all of our patients receiving oral conscious sedation treatment be accompanied by a travel companion to ensure safe travel to and from the office.
Nitrous sedation uses nitrous oxide (N2O), also known as “laughing gas”, to induce a euphoric feeling in patients during their treatment. Nitrous oxide can also act as a “pain killer” for soft tissues such as the gums which makes it particularly effective for appointments targeting periodontal hygiene.
Unlike oral sedation, the effects of nitrous oxide can be increased or decreased throughout the appointment to adjust for changing needs and no injections are needed to administer the nitrous oxide.
Finally, unlike the other two forms of conscious sedation, there are no lingering effects after the use of nitrous oxide. People can drive home minutes after their appointment and are thus not reliant upon others for help getting home.
Although an effective option for many, nitrous sedation does not work for everyone. Some people simply cannot achieve the level of comfort needed in order to be able to proceed with a regular course of treatment. Fortunately, as discussed in the other sections, there are a number of sedation alternatives that are available.