When it comes to wisdom teeth removal, sedation dentistry is almost on everyone’s mind. Not remembering what happened during your procedure is truly a blessing for our patients. If you are a Houston or Richmond resident wanting sedation options for getting your wisdom teeth removed, IV sedation may be your best option.
The different forms of Sedation Dentistry
Dentists have used different methods to sedate their patients over the years. As technology has continued to evolve, the use of three main forms of sedation are now constantly in use at dental offices: Nitrous Oxide (laughing gas), IV Sedation, and Oral Conscious Sedation. The most common method that is growing in popularity is IV Sedation because it allows patients to forget their procedure, and it’s what is commonly used in wisdom teeth extraction procedures.
What is IV Sedation?
IV Sedation is the use of a catheter placed inside of your vein to help your dentist inject medications directly into your bloodstream. This allows for potent and quick sedation so that you can relax during your dental surgery procedure. It is the top choice for dentist and dental surgeons when wisdom teeth are removed. The IV stands for intravenous sedation, and it is commonly known as twilight anesthesia among the public.
What are the advantages of IV Sedation?
Intravenous Sedation offers several advantages over nitrous oxide and oral conscious sedation. Here are a few of them:
- Amnesia: IV Sedation is able to allow you to forget your dental surgical procedure. This provides a huge benefit if you suffer from dental phobia or have severe anxiety of the dentist.
- Fast-Acting: As dentists, we can control the amount of medication we can give through an IV line depending how your body reacts to the medication. This process is known as titration and it allows the dental clinician to determine exactly how much medication you will receive during your wisdom teeth removal procedure.
- Pain Control: Certain medications such as Fentanyl can be given during your wisdom teeth removal procedure to help with pain control. Fentanyl is an opioid that is commonly using with IV sedation procedures.
What are the disadvantages or IV Sedation?
IV sedation has certain drawbacks as well. Although the complications are rare, it is worth mentioning that their are certain risks when it comes to IV Sedation. These include:
- Airway problems: A combination of medicaments can cause airway inhibition during IV sedation. Although quite rare, this is a potential complication if an overdose of medications are given to you during the procedure.
- NPO (nulla per os): Nothing can be taken (food and water) for 6-8 hours prior to your surgical procedure. This is due to the prevention of any food particles from regurgitating and entering your airway.
- You will also need to have someone drive you home after the procedure as you will be sedated for some time after your dental surgical procedure is completed.
- Not recommended for those who are pregnant.
What is Nitrous Oxide?
Nitrous oxide, also known as laughing gas, is the original method used for sedation dentistry. Dating back to the 1800s doctors and dentists were experimenting with laughing gas as a potential form of anesthesia for dental procedures. Before the advent of local anesthesia, laughing gas was used as a stand alone medication for anesthesia for dental procedures. Although still used, inhaling nitrous gas has taken a back seat to IV Sedation when removing one’s wisdom teeth.
What are the advantages of Nitrous Oxide or Laughing Gas?
- Can help decrease anxiety during a dental surgical procedure.
- Allows for a full recovery from sedation after the procedure with the inhaling on pure oxygen.
- Has very little potential of overdose during your procedure.
- It is a very safe drug and is typically also given to children during their dental procedures.
- The patient is able to drive themselves home after the procedure.
What are the disadvantages of Nitrous Oxide?
- Has a potential to cause headaches, fatigue, and nausea if given in high doses.
- Some patients will have difficulty breathing though the nitrous oxide mask, and they will tell you about their discomfort during the procedure.
- It is not recommended in pregnant patients and those who suffer from COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder).
What is Oral Conscious Sedation?
As mentioned earlier oral conscious sedation is the use of tablets or capsules to help sedate you for your dental procedure. The two main sedation medications given in oral form are Halcyon and Valium. Both medications are in the same family of drugs and both can provide a long lasting sedative effect that can help you relax during your dental procedure.
What are the advantages of Oral Conscious Sedation?
- It can provide a wonderful sedative effect to help you be at ease during your wisdom teeth removal procedure.
- It is more cost effective than IV Sedation.
- It can allow you to get the dental work that you may desperately need.
What are the disadvantages of Oral Conscious Sedation?
- Does not provide the amnesic effect that IV Sedation does.
- Will still need a driver to take you home after the procedure (a disadvantage versus laughing gas).
- Not able to titrate the medication as to give the patients the amount of sedation that would be best during the procedure (a disadvantage versus IV Sedation).
Sedation dentistry is at the forefront of modern dentistry, especially when it comes to wisdom teeth removal. If you are needing sedation dentistry options and are in the Houston or Richmond, TX area, call us today. We hope to hear from you soon!