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Sedation dentistry is the use of medication to put a patient in a relaxed state while the dentist performs the dental procedure. The sedative drugs help the patient to become free of stress and anxiety, reduce memory of the treatment, and make the dental appointment a much less unpleasant experience especially in case of invasive treatments. On the same time, sedation makes the procedure easier for the dentist, allowing him to concentrate on performing the dental treatment in the best possible way to a fully co-operative patient.
IV sedation dentistry (intravenous sedation) is an advanced and effective method of dental conscious sedation used by highly trained dentists in order to perform dental treatments with their patients in calm and relaxed condition. IV sedation dentistry is the method of choice for the management of moderate to more severe levels of dental anxiety or dental phobia.
Many dental offices incorrectly advertise IV sedation under the term ‘sleep dentistry’. IV sedation dentistry is a method of conscious sedation, and should not be confused with sleep dentistry which is closer related to general anesthesia (unconscious sedation). With IV sedation dentistry a patient remains conscious during treatment, able to respond to questions or requests from the dentist, but in a totally relaxed state and relieved from any anxieties. However the amnesic effects of the used anti-anxiety medications give patients the impression that they slept through the procedure.
IV sedation dentists must have received specialized advanced training and must be certified by the local Dental Board before they can offer intravenous sedation to their patients. IV sedation dentists should also have formal training in ACLS (Advanced Cardiac Life Support) and their dental office must be equipped with the necessary monitoring devices.
Dental IV sedation is usually recommended for oral surgery procedures, to help the patient relax during long and stressful treatments such as wisdom tooth extractions, dental implant placement, gum surgery and other invasive treatments.
Although IV sedation dentistry is mainly intended to offer anxiety control to severely phobic patients, they are not the only ones who regularly seek the benefits of IV sedation dentistry.
Before the IV sedation procedure the patient must follow the pre-operative instructions given by the dentist in the consultation appointment. Patients must also sign an informed consent form after the dentist has explained the potential risks of IV sedation.
Continuous monitoring of any patient undergoing IV sedation dentistry is critically important for ensuring the safety of IV sedation procedure. Breathing, pulse, blood pressure and oxygen saturation are monitored by a combination of clinical observation and use of electronic equipment.
Recovery from IV sedation dentistry may take up to 24 hours, and during this period the post-operative instructions must be followed carefully. IV sedation safety record is excellent when performed by a trained and experienced dentist in a properly equipped dental office. Certain medical and mental conditions are considered as contraindication for using IV sedation due to the increased risk of potential IV sedation side effects.
Oral sedation dentistry is one of the techniques used by modern dentists to help patients who experience anxiety and dental fear in order to get proper dental care.
Oral Sedation involves the administration of sedative drugs taken from the mouth in the form of a pill or liquid, to achieve a state of relaxation and make dental procedures a comfortable experience even for fearful patients.