What is Sedation Dentistry or Intravenous Anesthesia?
Sedation dentistry is used to help patients relax while they are having treatment. Medication will be used but you usually remain awake, unless you opt for a general anesthetic which will make you sleep.
Dr. Salmassy will discuss the sedation options with you so that you can choose the one you prefer and which he feels is best suited to your circumstances:
- A low level of sedation – you will feel completely relaxed but will not be asleep.
- Moderate sedation – you will feel more relaxed, even drowsy and although not fully asleep, you may not remember much afterwards.
- Deep sedation – you will wake up easily but will be more or less unconscious.
- General anesthetic – you will be fully asleep/unconscious and will not be aware of anything.
Dr. Salmassy will choose from a choice of sedation methods:
- Minimal inhaled sedation – you will be asked to breathe ‘laughing gas’ (nitrous oxide) mixed with oxygen via a mask. You will feel relaxed throughout the procedure and as this is not a heavy sedative, you can drive afterwards.
- Oral sedation – there is a variety of medications available. You and your dentist can decide which is best for your situation. Some have a minimal effect and will make you feel drowsy and relaxed. Others will make you more sedated and you may even fall asleep during treatment.
As well as being sedated, your dentist will still apply a local anesthetic into your gum so that you will not feel any pain while he works on your teeth.
What is Intravenous Anesthesia?
Dr. Salmassy offers his patients the option of Intravenous Sedation or Dental Intravenous Anesthesia or to some it is referred to as “Twilight Sedation” for their dental treatment.
It’s called “twilight sleep” because you are not always be asleep but you will be comfortable, calm and relaxed, drifting in and out of sleep.
The purpose of intravenous sedation is to help you be comfortable and calm when undergoing dental procedures and enable you to tolerate as well as not remember those procedures that may be very uncomfortable for you. IV sedation will essentially help alleviate the anxiety associated with your treatment.
How is IV Sedation Given?
“Intravenous” means that the drug is put into a vein. An extremely thin needle is put into a vein close to the surface of the skin in either the arm or the back of your hand. This needle is wrapped up with a soft plastic tube. It makes the entry into the vein, then is slid out leaving the soft plastic tube in place. The drugs are put in through that tube. The tube stays in place throughout the procedure.
Throughout the procedure, your pulse and oxygen levels are measured using a “pulse oximeter”. This gadget clips onto a finger or an earlobe and measures pulse and oxygen saturation. It gives a useful early warning sign if you’re getting too low on oxygen
Who should consider Intravenous Anesthesia?
If the thought of dental treatment fills you with dread, then sedation dentistry is well worth considering. Whether you have a phobia or something less, by allowing Dr. Salmassy to sedate you, dental treatment can be carried out quickly and efficiently. Talk to him about sedation dentistry if you have problems with any of the following:
- A fear of dentists
- Low pain threshold
- Very sensitive teeth
- A gag reflex that causes problems during treatment
- Need to have a vast amount of work carried out