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Sedation dentistry

Sedation dentistry offers an excellent way to provide a safe, anxiety-free, dental experience to those who are afraid of the dentist.

Sedation dentistry is often mistakenly thought to induce sleep.  In fact, most sedatives allow the patient to stay awake during the procedure.  

Some sedatives work so effectively that even the smells and details of the procedure cannot be recalled afterwards.  Safety and compliance are two important aspects of treatments, so sedation dentistry offers both the individual and the dentist the best alternative.

Whatever the form of sedative, it is essential to be accompanied by a caregiver. 

Penthrox

Penthrox (Methoxyflurane) is a medicine used to reduce pain but also can cause sedation. It is a clear colourless liquid with a characteristic fruity smell that becomes a vapour or gas once it has been poured into the Penthrox inhaler. It is hand held and self-administered by the patient who controls the level of sedation depending on the rate of intake. The Penthrox inhaler is commonly referred to as the “green whistle” and used for pain relief in emergency situations by paramedics.

After-effects of sedation may include disturbed ability to concentrate, nausea and you may feel tired or sleepy. Even though these effects wear off relatively quickly it may is wise to have someone accompany you to your dental appointment if sedation is planned.

Medicated Sedation

Oral conscious sedation is an excellent choice for people who fear needles.  Oral medication is provided prior to treatment in order to induce a moderate state of sedation.  Though oral sedatives do not cause sleep, they usually dull the senses.  This means that most patients cannot remember the pain, smells or noises associated with the procedure.  Usually, a dose of medication is taken prior to the appointment.

Most of the drugs used in sedation dentistry are classified as benzodiazepines, valium being the most common.  Benzodiazepines reduce anxiety, muscle spasms, insomnia and seizures. .