woman sedated in dental chair

Is Sedation Dentistry Safe?

Team Sedation

If you have dental anxiety, you may be interested in learning more about sedation dentistry. Unfortunately, many patients with dental anxiety also have anxiety about dental sedation, creating another hurdle to getting the treatment they need. So is sedation dentistry safe? Is it a good option for you? We answer all the questions you might have below.

Understanding Sedation Dentistry

When we talk about sedation dentistry, we’re not talking about one specific form of sedation; it’s an umbrella term used to describe a number of different methods to help you feel calm and relaxed during dental treatments. 

At our practice, we offer:

Nitrous Oxide

Nitrous oxide is the mildest form of dental sedation. Also known as laughing gas, it’s an inhaled sedation agent that takes effect quickly and wears off just as fast, meaning there are no lingering side effects and very few risks involved. Nitrous oxide is very safe, which is why it’s commonly used with children.

Conscious Oral Sedation

This is a form of minimal sedation that is a fit for anyone who needs a little more relaxation than that offered by nitrous oxide. Your doctor will prescribe an oral anti-anxiety medication for you to take in the office just before your appointment. Once it takes effect, you will feel calm and sometimes even drowsy, although you will be fully conscious during your procedure. This form of sedation also has few risks or side effects.

Alternatively, we can arrange a referral for deeper sedation:

IV Sedation

When people want to “sleep through” a dental procedure, they’re usually interested in IV sedation. Technically speaking, you are still conscious with IV sedation, although you will feel as if you are sleeping and have no recollection of the procedure when it wears off. This is not the same as general anesthesia, which must be administered by a trained medical or dental anesthesiologist.

Sedation Dentistry Safety

Many of the questions patients have regarding the safety of sedation dentistry have to do with IV sedation. Unfortunately, there have been cases where IV sedation was used improperly, resulting in serious complications.  All types of sedation require a review of your medical history to determine whether you are a candidate.  

General anesthesia must be administered and monitored by an anesthesiologist because patients may not be able to breathe on their own. Properly administered IV sedation avoids this scenario—as stated above, you are technically conscious and you are still breathing without any help or support. In other words, IV sedation is a safe option when it is provided by a well-trained team with safety protocols in place.

We can offer a referral to a clinic which follows all current best practices and guidelines for administering IV sedation to ensure our patients’ comfort and safety. 

Learn More About Sedation Dentistry in Kingston

Do you have dental anxiety? Are your fears of the dentist keeping you from getting the dental care you need? If you have questions about our sedation dentistry services, contact us today at +1-613-544-2224 to schedule an appointment for a consultation.