Sedation Dentistry in NJ: Modalities and the Different Effects of Sedatives

Sedation enables dentists to effectively deal with patients who have dental phobia, a history of traumatic dental experiences, complex dental problems that require invasive surgery, and a sensitive gag reflex. This procedure has been practiced for over a century since its discovery in 1845. Today, the sedation dentistry in NJ and other places around the world helps patients undergo complicated dental procedures safely and with almost no pain.

Sedation involves the administration of sedatives, which are drugs that relax the nervous system. Sedatives differ from local anesthetics due to their effect on the body–sedatives calm the nervous system, whereas local anesthetics merely numb the target area. How sedatives are administered depend on the patient’s dental issue and overall condition. These drugs and their methods of administration are categorized into levels according to their effects on the patient. Understanding these levels helps experienced dentists like Dr. Sam Romano determine the accurate dosage of sedatives needed and avoid side effects due to excessive or insufficient intake.

Mild Sedation

Also called anxiolysis, mild sedation is the lightest level of sedation, and it often involves inhalation of nitrous oxide or laughing gas. Nitrous oxide is the first substance used in attempting to reduce the pain a patient may experience during a procedure. While this initial attempt was unsuccessful, the use of nitrous oxide marked the beginning of the sedation dentistry New Jersey dentists like Dr. Sam Romano apply today. When inhaled, nitrous oxide relaxes the body, but only for a short period.

Moderate Sedation

A patient under moderate sedation experiences a reduced level of consciousness. The sedatives can be administered orally, intravenously, or intramuscularly. A patient under this modality maintains independent breathing and control of reflexes and he can still respond to physical and verbal stimulation. In other words, the patient is awake but does not make responses that can complicate the procedure.

Deep Sedation

Although not recognized as a modality of sedation dentistry, deep sedation is still placed in line with other sedation dentistry modalities simply because it uses sedatives. The difference is it has a more dramatic effect than other sedatives–patients under deep sedation may not breathe independently and respond to physical and verbal stimulations.

General Anesthesia

If the patient does not qualify for any of the aforementioned techniques of sedation dentistry NJ dentists employ because of the intensity of the treatment, general anesthesia can be carried out instead. A patient administered with general anesthesia would be in deep sleep during the entire procedure.