What dental procedures can be done under sedation instead of general anaesthesia?

Doctor's Answers 1

Thank you for your question. Dental procedures can be quite terrifying for young children and for some adults with dental phobia. In order for dental procedures to be done comfortably for these individuals, anaesthesia will be required to alter their conscious state so that they can accept dental procedures.

Sedation and general anaesthesia are forms of anaesthesia and differs in the level of altered consciousness. General anaesthesia renders the patient completely unconscious meaning the patient will not be able to see, hear, feel or remember any of the procedures done on them.

With sedation, the patient is still conscious and there are varying levels of consciousness depending on the type of medication used for sedation. Sedation can be divided into mild, moderate, and deep, with the type of sedation chosen by your dentist/oral maxillofacial surgeon for the dental procedure needed. Mild sedation is a relaxed conscious state while deep sedation is a state of being very sleepy and not being aware of your surroundings but may be able to respond to stimuli (e.g being asked to open your eyes).

Simple extractions and minor oral surgical procedures can be performed under sedation. While more extensive oral surgical procedures will be better managed under general anaesthesia. In children, dental procedures such as fillings and extractions can be done under sedation, however, if more extensive work needs to be done and requires the child to stay still for a longer period of time, general anaesthesia may be a better option. Another important consideration on whether a patient is suitable for sedation is their airway, individuals with a narrow airway or a short lower jaw may not be good candidates for sedation as there can be loss of independent airway function during deep sedation and airway and ventilation assistance may be required.

Hope this helps, and all the very best.

Similar Questions

Is it safe to undergo dental procedures while breastfeeding?

The good news is most dental procedures can be done safely while breastfeeding. Most dental materials do not absorb into the bloodstream in significant amounts. You may wish to avoid getting new amalgam fillings placed or having old amalgam fillings removed during this time since this releases mercury vapour. However, since the studies looking at the issue of mercury in breast milk did not measure how much mercury was actually absorbed by the infants, we don't know if there is any significance to mercury levels in breast milk.

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Dr Jaclyn Toh


When is IV sedation indicated for dental procedures?

Hi, IV sedation is always optional. Dental procedures may cause discomfort and cause a degree of anxiety. Hence dental procedurists always administer various forms of medication for relief of anxiety. This may range from oral tablets to having medication injected intravenously. On occasion, deeper sedation may be required; this is where an anesthesiologist will be booked for the procedure. This doctor stays throughout the duration of the procedure, monitoring your oxygenation, heart rate, and blood pressure while adjusting the level of sedation medication. I hope this helps!

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