First off, you’re not alone, there are plenty of people who avoid dental procedures out of fear and anxiety. To ease the discomfort, you can have mild to strong dental anaesthesia administered during your procedure.  Deciding the level of sedation that’s right for you may take into account your level of anxiety, the procedure you have to undergo and your medical history.

In NZ and Dental Artistry there are different types of dental sedation available, depending on the procedure being undertaken and your comfort levels.

Inhalation sedation

The dentist will administer nitrous oxide gas (also called ‘laughing gas’ or ‘happy gas’) that you can inhale through a tube-shaped device. This is a form of conscious sedation that has a soothing, sleepy and calming effect that will reduce your anxiety but not knock you out. You will still be able to answer any questions that your dentist may ask during the procedure. This is ideal for those who just need to take the edge off and you will be able to drive yourself home after the procedure.

Intravenous (IV) sedation

IV sedation is recommended for extremely nervous or anxious patients, or for more complex procedures. This results in a heavier sedative effect than inhalation sedation. A specialist will administer the sedative through a vein so it works quickly and the level of sedation can easily be adjusted. It puts you in a state of total relaxation, but you will still be able to respond to your dentist during the procedure.  However, you may not have much memory of it.

Commonly asked questions about sedation dentistry

Sedation options make it easier for anxious patients to keep up with their dental health. At Dental Artistry, we offer inhalation sedation and IV sedation options. The latter is administered by a specialist anaesthetist to ensure all safety precautions are taken.

Is dental sedation in NZ safe?

There is very little risk involved with anaesthesia when administered by experienced and well-qualified professionals, so it is usually safe. This is why we have an expert anaesthetist come in for procedures that require IV sedation. It is important that our clients are completely honest with us with regard to their medical history so we can make the procedure as safe as possible.

Will I get dental sedation during bone grafting or tooth implant procedures?

A bone grafting procedure is an out-patient procedure that shouldn’t be painful to you at all. A local anaesthetic will be given to keep the area numb so patients feel nothing. Medication will be prescribed to manage any pain you may have to deal with during recovery so you won’t have to nurse a toothache as the graft heals. There should be no, or minimal pain from the site where the local anaesthetic is injected.

Similarly, with a dental implants procedure, you will be given a local anaesthetic. To manage any post-op pain, you will be prescribed pain medication. You may have mild discomfort but if you follow the recommended post-surgery care, the recovery will be quick.

Is sedation required during a tooth extraction?

An infected tooth that requires extraction can be quite painful on its own and during the extraction procedure you will certainly be given the option for sedation. It could be anything a local injection to IV sedation. In case you need IV sedation, this will be administered by an anaesthetist.

Who can take dental sedation?

Dental sedation is recommended for those with high levels of anxiety or fear. This fear often stops them from going to a dentist and causes their dental health to deteriorate further. An appropriate level of sedation makes visits less stressful. Sedation could also be used for people who have extremely sensitive teeth or a low threshold of pain. If there’s extensive procedures that need to be completed or the client has a bad gag reflex, some form of sedation may be recommended.

Is sedation safe for children?

If a child is terrified of the dentist or cannot sit still in the chair, inhalation sedation may be recommended. Nitrous oxide is considered to be safe for children and allows the dentist to complete the work without causing undue stress on the child.

Get in touch with us and we can help advise which sedation option is best for you.