Conscious sedation at the dentist: how it works and what the benefits are

Dentist making dental contact lenses
Dr. Natália Morales is a specialist in Endodontics, Implantology, Dental Prosthesis and 3d Dentistry and has been dedicated for 14 years to caring for patients with odontophobia. Reference in humanized care.

Conscious sedation is an interesting solution for patients, especially those who are afraid of the dentist. The reason is simple: it makes dental treatments possible.

Don't you know this type of sedation, much less how it works and what its advantages are? No problem! Below, you can check this and other information and find out the main details about conscious sedation. Follow along!

What is conscious sedation?

This is a type of sedation that keeps the patient conscious/awake, as its name suggests. Its biggest difference is in helping you relax, alleviating symptoms of anxiety, common in patients who are afraid of the dentist.

It is a minimum level sedation, therefore, one of the initial ones within dentistry. In it, the patient breathes nitrous oxide, which is also called laughing gas, causing relaxation.

The use of conscious sedation is one of the main features of humanized dentistry, which aims to transform the patient experience, contributing to oral health care.

How does dental conscious sedation work?

When you learn about the possibility of conscious sedation dentistry, it is common to have doubts about how this solution works. In reality, there aren't many secrets.

The patient breathes nitrous oxide through a mask positioned on their face, over their nose. This element is mixed with oxygen proportionally and its action is immediate.

When it comes into contact with the central nervous system, nitrous oxide causes a state of relaxation, helping to control symptoms of anxiety and nervousness. However, the patient does not lose consciousness and remains awake. This is where the name conscious sedation comes from.

By using it, it is possible to carry out dental treatment with greater ease, both for the patient and the dentist. It even allows you to perform more than one procedure on the same day, depending on the treatment.

The dentist controls the amount of sedation and, after removing it, the effect wears off quickly. Therefore, the patient can resume their routine, including driving home safely.

What are the advantages of this type of sedation?

Conscious sedation has unique advantages, which is why it is the choice of many patients as an alternative to calm the patient. Below, you can see the main ones:

Non-invasive action

Unlike other types of sedation, such as dental anesthesia, conscious sedation is non-invasive. There is no injection and no previous pain at the access site. Therefore, it is also a good alternative for those who are afraid of needles.

Fast effect

The action of conscious sedation is fast, practically immediate. The dentist can adjust it according to the patient's profile, personalizing its use. Furthermore, after suspending the sedation, the effect also wears off quickly.

Safe method of sedation

It is a safe method of sedation, especially because the patient remains conscious. There is only relaxation, but the person remains awake, aware of what is happening around them.

Influence on pain tolerance

This type of sedation also directly influences pain tolerance, mitigating it. Therefore, it is an interesting alternative for patients who are more sensitive.

Relief from anxiety and stress

Another very important advantage is the relief of anxiety and stress, which are common reactions in patients afraid of the dentist. This way, it is possible to keep the person calmer, reacting better during treatment.

Practically immediate recovery

Conscious sedation stands out for providing a practically immediate recovery to the patient, without inconvenience and without negatively impacting their day, optimizing their time.

Are there side effects and contraindications?

Side effects from conscious sedation are rare. However, there is a possibility that the patient may experience excessive sweating, formation of secretions in the airways followed by a slight cough, as well as nausea.

Very few people experience these side effects and when they do occur, they are usually mild and do not last long. Therefore, it is a type of sedation that is very worthwhile if indicated. 

Regarding contraindications, it is only not recommended for use by patients who are experiencing a respiratory problem with air passage obstruction, such as rhinitis or sinusitis.

One of the main requirements for sedation to be effective is to have an open airway. If this is not the case, it will not have the desired effect. Talk to a dentist to find out if you can use conscious sedation.

Main indications for the use of conscious sedation

Conscious sedation is indicated for patients who have intense fear or anxiety about dentists or dental procedures, even preventing appointments and treatments.

Furthermore, it is also an option for those who are sensitive to pain, cannot sit still for a long time in the dentist's chair or have very sensitive teeth. 

It can be applied to children (especially those who refuse to sit still and do not cooperate), adults and the elderly. The difference between these audiences is the dose, which is personalized considering the patient's age and weight.

Can any dentist perform sedation?

Conscious sedation can be administered by most dentists, as it is a non-invasive alternative, which requires specialized knowledge only to adjust doses and application.

As for moderate and deep sedation, the dental council of each state regulates the issue. In some cases, only authorized dentists can perform them, as they are more complex techniques.

What precautions should you take after conscious sedation?

This type of sedation has the advantage of not requiring special care after application. Recovery is immediate after stopping nitrous oxide inhalation and the patient can return to their normal activities. 

Dental procedures with conscious sedation in Rio de Janeiro

OdontoLiuzzi offers dental treatment with conscious sedation, with a focus on humanized dentistry, providing differentiated patient care.

Our clinic has dentist Rio de Janeiro of different specialties, all updated and highly qualified. Furthermore, we have a complete, modern, safe and comfortable structure, guaranteeing patients a welcoming experience.

Schedule a consultation with one of our specialists and take the opportunity to learn more about conscious sedation in dental treatments!

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