2401 Cliffe Ave 10 Courtenay BC V9N 2L5 CA

When is Sedation Used in Dentistry?

Many patients feel that a local anesthetic is enough to keep them from experiencing pain during dental procedures. But some patients that have heightened sensitivity or suffer from dental anxiety can find sedation beneficial. Today, our Courtenay dentists explain the different types of dental sedation that might be available at your dental office. 

Our Courtenay dental team offers our patients the most comfortable and relaxed environment possible for their dental visits.

Many of our patients find that when undergoing routine dental treatments and procedures, a local anesthetic is sufficient to prevent pain. However, there are some patients who also require the additional help of dental sedation in order to help them feel calm and relaxed about their treatment.

Every patient is unique, so we assess each of our patient's general anesthesia and sedation requirements on a case-by-case basis.

If you or your child falls under one of these categories your dentist might recommend sedation:

  • Patients with high anxiety or fear;
  • Patients suffering from dental phobias;
  • Patients who require long, complex, or particularly invasive dental procedures;
  • Patients with low pain tolerance;
  • Patients who have difficulty holding their mouth open for sustained periods of time;
  • Patients who find that local anesthetic is not effective in pain control;
  • Patients with allergies to local aesthetic;
  • Patients with exaggerated gag reflexes.
  • Patients who have difficulties staying still during dental treatment;
  • Patients who are medically compromised;
  • Patients with special needs due to mental or physical disabilities;
  • Patients with special healthcare requirements;

Our dentists want you to receive dental care in a relaxed and comfortable manner.

Is it Safe for My Child to Undergo Dental Sedation?

The idea of giving sedative drugs to children can make parents feel uneasy, especially when it comes to dental care. Parents often ask us if it’s worth it for a simple dental treatment. Isn't it going a step too far? Shouldn't they allow their children to grow accustomed to visiting the dentist naturally?

There is no doubt that sedation and anesthesia should be taken very seriously. However, these procedures are safe for a child when used judiciously, and done by experienced and trained medical professionals.

Sedatives can play a key role in providing children with necessary and critical dental healthcare.

Do Children Benefit from Dental Sedation?

Some children find dentist appointments very scary and extremely stressful. Dental offices are full of smells, sights, and sounds that are unfamiliar and can be overwhelming for kids. Unfortunately, lots of child patients bring their negative dental experiences with them into their adulthood and form phobias around dental care.

Sedation could be valuable for treating anxious kids without causing additional distress, providing them with dental experiences that are more positive.

When children have positive dental experiences earlier in their lives it could establish a path for a more confident and healthy approach to dental care as they grow up, and this can lead to better life-long oral health.

What are The Types of Dental Sedation?

Nitrous Oxide

Nitrous oxide is a sedative given to patients by mixing it with oxygen. It helps calm patients down if they are feeling anxious, nervous or afraid. It’s important for parents to know that the use of nitrous oxide does not impair a patient’s reflexes and does not make them unconscious.

Oral Conscious Sedation

Oral conscious sedation can be achieved with a variety of medications. Our Courtenay dentists can recommend the most appropriate oral conscious sedation option for your child, and will always be glad to answer any questions you may have about it.

While oral conscious sedation doesn't usually make a patient unconscious, it can make them drowsy enough to sleep during the procedure. Many patients do not have any memory of their dental procedure after the effect of the sedation wears off.

General Anesthesia

Dentists use general anesthesia during dental procedures to make a patient unconscious. This form of anesthesia is often suggested for patients that have serious behavioural challenges, limited comprehension, and/or high pain sensitivity.

Our dentistry team at Driftwood Dental aims to provide your children with quality dental care with utmost safety and comfort.

Contact our dentists at Driftwood Dental today with any questions you may have about dental sedation and to find out if it is an option for you.

Visit Driftwood Dental for a friendly & relaxed dental experience!

(250) 338-5381