Sedation dentistry uses medication to help patients relax during dental procedures. It's sometimes referred to as "sleep dentistry,"
You breathe nitrous oxide -- otherwise known as "laughing gas" -- combined with oxygen through a mask that's placed over your nose. The gas helps you relax. Your dentist can control the amount of sedation you receive, and the gas tends to wear off quickly. This is the only form of sedation where you may be able to drive yourself home after the procedure.
IV Moderate Sedation: You receive the sedative drug through a vein, so it goes to work more quickly. This method allows the dentist to continually adjust the level of sedation. Sedation dentistry may also be appropriate for people who:
Have a low pain threshold
Can't sit still in the dentist's chair
Have very sensitive teeth
Have a bad gag reflex
Need a large amount of dental work completed
Before the procedure, your dentist should go over your medical history. Your dentist should also determine whether you are an appropriate candidate for sedation and ask about any medications you're currently taking.
General anaesthesia is commonly used to facilitate dental treatment in patients with anxiety or challenging behavior, many of whom are children or patients with special needs. When performing procedures under general anesthesia, dental surgeons must perform a thorough pre-operative assessment, as well as ensure that the patients are aware of the potential risks and that informed consent has been obtained. Such precautions ensure optimal patient management and reduce the frequency of morbidities associated with this form of treatment. Most guidelines address the management of pediatric patients under general anesthesia. However, little has been published regarding this method in patients with special needs.
General anesthesia is a drug-induced loss of consciousness during which the patient cannot be awakened, even through painful stimulation. The use of general anesthesia is considered relatively safe, and it has been widely described as a useful modality for the treatment of patients with special needs.