Sedation Dentistry

Sedation Dentistry

Sedation dentistry is the use of oral or intravenous sedation to calm a patient during a dental procedure. There are many situations where sedation can benefit the patient by making it easier to receive treatment.

Patients Who Benefit from Sedation Dentistry

A major beneficiary of sedation dentistry are people who suffer from two related conditions, dental phobia and dental anxiety. These may not seem like serious issues to some, but over 40 percent of Canadians have serious fears about visiting a dentist. Many of these patients have been avoiding regular preventive care for years, but sedation dentistry can help them get the treatment they need.

Patients who have a gag reflex find it difficult to allow a dentist to put instruments in their mouth. They’re another group that could be assisted by sedation dentistry. Sedation dentistry can also be the answer for patients with sensitive teeth or patients with a low pain threshold. There are also patients who prefer sedation dentistry because they have difficulty sitting still in a dental chair.

Some dental procedures such as complete smile makeovers or extensive restoration procedures are time-consuming and may require multiple visits to complete. For these patients, sedation dentistry could make their appointments pass more easily and the total number of necessary appointments may even be reduced when sedation is used.

Two Types of Sedation–Intravenous and Oral

Sedation dentistry is commonly referred to as conscious sedation. Patients can choose to be relaxed using either oral or intravenous (IV) sedation, but they will remain alert enough to follow the dentist’s directions.

At Williams Lake Smiles, IV sedation is always administered by a trained professional. A sedative drug is administered intravenously using an injection. The dentist will monitor the patient and adjust the level of sedation throughout the procedure. Dr. Wassenaar also has hospital privileges for cases where a stronger level of sedation is required.

Oral sedation is the most common type of sedation used by dentists in Canada. It’s easier to administer than IV sedation. With oral sedation, patients take an oral sedative prior to the procedure which leaves them feeling drowsy, but they remain awake during the procedure.

During sedation dentistry, Dr. Wassenaar will also administer local anesthesia to temporarily block the pain impulses in the area that’s being treated. When receiving sedation dentistry,  you should remember to arrange to have someone take you home afterwards because you’ll still be too groggy to drive.

Creating Beautiful Smiles in Williams Lake

At Williams Lake Smiles, we offer a number of cosmetic and restorative procedures to keep your smile shining bright. Call today to see what our dental implants and other services can do for your smile.


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