Types of Dental Sedation

Some dental procedures are invasive and uncomfortable, and this is the reason why in the past most people would rather endure the pain of a decayed tooth than have it removed. Thanks to the discovery of sedatives, dental procedures are no longer a torturing experience for people.

Dental sedation is mostly used during an invasive dental procedure to prevent the patient from feeling pain during procedures. Some individuals have phobia even when they are undertaking a simple procedure such as dental cleaning and the dentist usually use mild sedation to make them less anxious.

What Is Dental Sedation?

Dental sedation is the process of calming down a dental patient by use of specific medication. It is hard for a dental practitioner to carry out a specific dental procedure especially if the procedure could cause pain without sedation. Sedation was developed to make the patient more relaxed and the dentist work more comfortable for a successful treatment plan.

Some of the dental procedures were not possible in the past due to unreliable sedatives that didn’t last for long. Dental sedation started around 2250 BC when pain caused by dental cavities was managed by use of Babylonian clay which constituted gum mastic and henbane seed.

Later on, in 1853 a hypodermic syringe and a hollow needle were developed which is made possible for administering anesthesia into the gums. After the invention of the syringe and needle, more discoveries were made on the effective anesthesia.

When Is Sedation Necessary?

Everyone has different dental formulas, for example, some people can open their mouth wide for a simple dental cleaning process but others may have difficulties and even experience pain while opening their mouth. Anesthesia is usually used in the latter case for an effective tooth cleaning procedure. Listed below are some of the more complex dental procedures that require sedation.

Dental Implants

A dental implant involves extraction of the affected tooth and implanting artificial root to integrate with the jawbone. Before the procedure begins, anesthesia is administered to keep the pain at bay and provides a successful dental implant process.

Dental Emergency

A dental emergency is when a person is involved in an accident, and they have experienced some form of dental trauma. Sedation is necessary in this type of case because the patient is already in pain and reducing this pain helps to keep the patient calm.


For a perfectly fitting denture, it is necessary for bone grafting to be done and this procedure might inflict pain to the patient. Anesthesia is used to keep the patient at ease, and the method accomplished correctly.

Tooth Removal

In the past tooth extraction was done without proper anesthesia and a person could feel pain during the process. Nowadays tooth extraction is painless thanks to the availability of reliable dental sedation methods.

Dental Surgery

Dental surgeries such as endodontics, oral and maxillofacial surgeries can be invasive and painful, and this is the reason why anesthesia is used to provide comfort to both the patient and dental surgeon.

Types of Dental Sedation

The type of dental sedation used will depend on the type of dental procedure being performed. To understand it more here are models of sedation used in dentistry.

Oral Sedation

This is anesthesia in the form of a tablet and taken orally. If you are undergoing a less painful dental procedure, you’ll be given a mild dose of the sedative although it may make you drowsy. It can be provided in various treatments depending on the type of procedure being carried out.

Usually, you are given the sedative one hour before the dental procedure to give it time to perform the work it is intended to. Vistaril, Halcion, Valium, Sonata, Ativan and Versed are some of the anesthetic sedatives used in oral sedation.

Inhaled Sedation

It involves breathing in gases such as nitrous oxide/ oxygen to the lungs. The gases can sedate an individual during a dental procedure. It is the best anesthetic method used on children since it makes the child feel relaxed and is easy to administer. It is safe, but it is advisable not to play or perform any strenuous task immediately after using an inhaled sedative.

General anesthesia

It is a type of dental anesthesia which puts a person into an unconscious state before and during a dental procedure. It is primarily used in complex dental treatment but can also be used on adults and children who are anxious about dental procedures. Dental general anesthesia is different from the usual general anesthesia used in other medical practices and is less invasive.

How Safe Is Dental Sedation?

Safety is always the first thing one considers before anesthesia is administered. In dental sedation, all the anesthesia used are safe and used at the minimal concentration to make the patient as comfortable as possible.

Dental sedation mainly focuses on keeping the patients relaxed, so they don’t disrupt a dental procedure. For any dental process that requires the use of anesthesia, it is essential for you or your child to observe the usual safety precautions. Safety precautions such as, not eating immediately before anesthesia is administered.

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