Dr. Tal Lewinger Dental NewsDr. Tal Lewinger is a general dentist and owner of Marketplace Dentistry in Vaughan, Ontario practising eco-responsible (and fun) family and cosmetic dentistry and

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Oral Sedation

Tal Lewinger - Friday, January 22, 2016

If you feel anxious every time you visit the dentist, sedation dentistry might be viable option for you. It is a relatively new type of dental practice. In sedation dentistry the patients are either relaxed or awake, or completely asleep during the whole procedure. Following are the things you should know about sedation dentistry:



These are the different types of sedation methods which are used in dentistry today:


  • Inhaled minimal sedation: In this type of sedation the patient breathes nitrous oxide which is commonly known as laughing gas. This laughing gas is inhaled combined with the oxygen via a mask which is placed over the nose of the patient. This gas helps the patient to relax. The dentist is able to control the amount of sedation which the patient receives, and laughing gas tends to wear off quite quickly. It is the only type of sedation which allows you to drive home after the treatment.  This is the most common type of sedation used on children because it is extremely safe to use with the right training.
  • Oral sedation: Oral sedation can range from moderate to minimal depending on the given dose. The patient takes a pill for minimal sedation. Typically, this pill is Halcion, which has the same drug family as Valium. Usually this pill is taken approximately an hour or so before the treatment starts. This pill makes the patient drowsy but doesn’t put to sleep. In order to give a moderate level of sedation, a larger dose might be given. It is the most common type of anesthesia in sedation dentistry. Moderate sedation can cause some patients to fall asleep during the treatment. They can usually be awakened with a slight shake.  Oral sedation is often combined with nitrous oxide in order to provide patients with the required level of sedation to feel comfortable during a dental procdure.
  • IV moderate sedation: In this type of sedation, the patient receives the sedative drug through a vein. As a result it works very quickly. The dentist can continually adjust sedations level with this method.
  • Deep sedation and general anesthesia: In this type of sedation the patient receives medication which makes him totally unconscious or almost unconscious. The patient is in deep sleep during the procedure. A patient cannot be awakened easily until the effects of anesthesia are reversed or they wear off.



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