Sedation Dentistry

Dental anxiety and phobia are two common factors deterring patients from visiting dentists even when in grave discomfort. According to a recent study, over 60% of the global population suffer from dental fear and avoid visiting dentists due to the fear of pain, injections, and anesthesia side effects. Sedative or sedation dentistry can help overcome dental anxiety and phobia. Sedatives are used in an array of procedures ranging from non-invasive tooth cleaning to invasive dental surgeries. However, the way in which sedatives are used depends on the severity of the problem at hand. 

What is Sedation Dentistry?

Sedation dentistry is a term assigned to procedures using medications to relax patients while they undergo dental procedures. The medications are sedatives which put the patients under the influence of varying sedation based on the severity of the problem which needs to be addressed. The different levels of sedation are identified as:

Minimal Sedation

The sedatives used under this category keep the patient fully conscious but enable them in relaxing during dental procedures. 

Moderate Sedation

Under this level of sedation, patients experience slurred speech and often tend to forget the majority of the procedure. 

Deep Sedation

Under this condition, the patient loses consciousness and cannot be awakened easily. However, the patient can respond to continuous and repeated stimulation. 

What are the types of sedatives used in dentistry?

There are different types and forms of sedation used in dentistry, some of them are:

Inhaled Minimal Sedation

The procedure uses a combination of nitrous oxide and oxygen to relax patients. Patients inhale the gas using a mask placed over their nose while the dentist controls the amount of gas a patient is subjected to. This is a form of minimal sedation which wears off easily. It is the only sedation type where the dentists permit patients to drive their vehicle. 

Oral Sedation

Oral sedation can be used to induce minimal to moderate sedation in patients. Generally, patients are given a pill an hour before the procedure. The consumption of the pill makes them drowsy and relaxes them during the procedure. Larger doses of such pills are used to induce moderate sedation in patients. Patients tend to fall asleep when using the mode of sedation but can be awakened with gentle shaking.

IV Moderate Sedation

The patient receives the sedatives through an IV and hence the medications affect them quickly than oral sedation. IV sedation method allows dentists to continuously control and change the level of sedation. 

General Anesthesia and Deep Sedation

Deep sedation medications are used to make patients almost unconscious. However, patients under the influence of deep sedation medications can respond to repeated stimulation. General anesthesia, on the other hand, makes patients completely unconscious and they cannot be awakened until the anesthesia wears off or are stimulated using medications. 

Who Qualifies for Sedation Dentistry?

Sedatives are necessary for people who have anxieties relating to dental procedures. Other patients who qualify for sedation dentistry are:

  • Patients with a low threshold for pain are ideal candidates for sedation dentistry.
  • Restless patients who cannot sit still in dentists’ chair
  • Patients who have a sensitive set of teeth
  • Patients who have a bad gag reflex
  • Sedation is often used when lengthy and complicated dental procedures need to be performed on patients.

We, at Bliss Dentistry of Campbell, California, cater to all your needs pertaining to dental services and routine exams. Our Campbell dentists with their entire team persevere to provide you with exceptional treatment that enhances and maintains the beauty of your smile. If you have any further question, queries or dental emergencies and are looking for an experienced dentist in the South Bay Area, feel free to contact us at (408) 963-6678 to schedule an appointment. 


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1930 South Bascom Avenue, Suite 100, Campbell, CA 95008

Email: [email protected]

(408) 963-6678

Fax: (408) 963-6668

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