Sedation Dentistry

sedation-dentistry-toronto-3dA large portion of the population experiences some degree of dental fear or anxiety. Some people have such a serious phobia that they avoid treatment unless they are in pain or have an emergency. Unfortunately this can lead to unpleasant treatment at every visit since more serious dental problems may have developed than if the patient were comfortable enough to come in for preventative care on a regular basis. Managing dental fear and anxiety is an integral part of our jobs as clinicians at our general family dentistry. If you do not have a pleasant experience with us, we can cause fears to persist or even worsen.

Sedation Options

At Cherry Blossom Dentistry the general dentist offers two different options for sedation to help relax a fearful patient. Both forms are considered a Conscious Sedation. This means that you will be in a deep state of relaxation but you will be able to breathe on your own and respond to requests of others.

For children and for those with a mild anxiety we offer Nitrous Oxide Sedation, commonly known as laughing gas. The nitrous oxide gas is mixed with oxygen and inhaled through a mask and after about 5 minutes you should feel a euphoric feeling spread throughout your body. You may feel light headed and some people experience “the giggles”.

The advantages of nitrous oxide sedation are:

  • it works very rapidly and it’s effects only last as long as it is breathed in.
  • there is no lasting hangover effect. You can drive yourself home and leave unassisted.
  • it is a very safe form of sedation, especially for children

The disadvantages are:

  • it may not provide a deep enough sedation for those with severe anxiety
  • the mask may not be acceptable to a claustrophobic patient
  • it is not effective in those who can not breathe comfortably through their nose.

The second form of sedation we offer for adults is Oral Sedation. This is administered in the form of a pill that you swallow once you arrive for your visit. The medication is called Triazolam or Halcion and is similar to Valium. However Triazolam provides a much deeper relaxation and amnesia effect than Valium.

The advantages of oral sedation are:

  • it provides a deeper sedative effect than nitrous oxide gas
  • it is easy to administer
  • less expensive than other forms of sedation, like i.v.
  • generally safer and easier to monitor than i.v. sedation
  • you may experience amnesia and remember virtually nothing about your dental procedure
  • most people respond very favourably to oral sedatives

The disadvantages of oral sedation are:

  • it has a lasting effect that requires you to be escorted home
  • the level of sedation achieved varies with each person and is not predictable
  • there is a time delay between the time the medication is taken and when it actually causes sedation, usually 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Sedation is an excellent tool in the treatment of the nervous patient.  It is also very useful for patients with underlying medical conditions who can not tolerate stress during treatment and for patients undergoing lengthy complicated dental procedures such as a dental implant.

Please contact us if you have any questions about the Sedation Dentistry we offer.

Dr. Lakshmi Jain

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