Conscious Sedation is defined as a minimally depressed level of consciousness that retains the patient's ability to independently and continuously maintain an airway and respond appropriately to physical stimulation and verbal command and that is produced by pharmacological or nonpharmacologic method or combination thereof.
Sedation Dentistry, sometimes called Relaxation Dentistry, refers to the way dentist's manage Pain and Anxiety during dental appointments.
Unlike General Anesthesia where a patient is completely unconscious, asleep, and unable to respond, patients under Conscious Sedation, are able to respond to commands and breath on their own.
Nitrous Oxide and Oxygen ("laughing gas") has been used as the most frequent and primary means of Sedation used in Dentistry for many years. 35% of all US dentists offer Nitrous Oxide Sedation to their patients.
Advantages or Dental Inhalation Sedation:
- Works well for mild to moderate anxiety
- Rapid Onset
- Flexible duration can be used for any appointment length
- Absolute Control. It is easy to quickly control the level of sedation which may be altered moment to moment.
- People recover quickly
- Very few side effects
- There is an analgesic effect
- You can drive yourself to and from your dental appointment
- You can return to normal activities immediately
Disadvantages of Dental Inhalation Sedation:
- Severe anxiety may require a deeper level of sedation
- Not indicated for people who have respiratory problems (Asthma and Emphysema)
- Claustrophobic patients do not like anything covering their nose
What medications are used for Dental Inhalation Sedation?
- Nitrous Oxide (N2O)
- Oxygen (O2)
The safety features of the machine insure a patient receives no less than 30% Oxygen mixed with Nitrous Oxide. Usually the patient receives 50 to 70% Oxygen.
Who should consider nitrous oxide?