dental implants in Singapore

Sedation Dentistry: Different Types of Sedation


dental implants in Singapore

There are several reasons why sedation dentistry has become one of the most popular dental treatments the world over. For starters, it can help dramatically put anxious patients at ease during a dental procedure. 

Different Types of Sedatives

There are various types of sedation used in sedation dentistry. Understandably, the type of sedative that will be used will depend primarily on the needs of the patient. Listed below are some of the most common types of sedatives typically used in sedation dentistry.

Oral sedation

Depending on the dose given, oral sedation can range from minimal to moderate. For minimal sedation, a pill is often given an hour prior to the procedure. While the pill would be enough to make you drowsy, you’d still be awake. 

To produce moderate sedation, a larger dose will be given. A larger dose will be enough to make you groggy. It is also possible that it can make you sleep during the procedure. However, a gentle shake would be enough to wake you up.

Inhaled minimal sedation

With this type of sedation, you’ll be made to breathe in nitrous oxide (also known as laughing gas) combined with oxygen using a mask that’s placed over your nose. Laughing gas can help you relax during the procedure. 

Your dentist will control the amount of sedation you will receive. Fortunately, the gas can wear off really quickly. With this type of sedation, you’ll be awake and agile enough to drive yourself home.

IV moderate sedation

When you’re given IV moderate sedation, it will be given through a vein so it will work more quickly. Your dentist will be able to continually adjust the level of sedation depending on your needs.

Deep sedation and general anaesthesia

When you are given general anaesthesia, you’ll be deeply asleep (unconscious) during the entire procedure. During general anaesthesia, you cannot be awakened easily unless reversed with medication or the effects have totally worn off.

Regardless of the type of sedation you are given, it is likely that you’ll be given a local anaesthetic as well to numb the site your dentist will work on. This is done to help warrant you will experience very minimal pain (if any) during the procedure.

Sedation Dentistry: Are You the Ideal Candidate?

Sedation is considered ideal for people with anxiety or fear that’s preventing them from visiting the dentist or undergoing any dental procedure. In essence, sedation dentistry is apt for people who have:

  • Low pain threshold
  • Can’t sit still in the dentist’s chair
  • A bad gag reflex
  • Very sensitive teeth
  • A large amount of dental work that needs to be completed

Sometimes, children are also given sedation if they are too anxious or nervous to cooperate during their visit. Nitrous oxide is deemed safe for children and any dentist can administer it. Fortunately, oral sedation is considered safe as long as it is kept within the recommended dose for the child’s weight and age.

Is it Safe?

While there will always be risks involved, anaesthesia is usually safe. People with obstructive sleep apnea or those who are obese however need to speak with their doctor prior to getting sedation. 

It is crucial that your dentist is qualified and trained to administer the type of sedation you will be given. To ensure everything is smooth sailing, your dentist will be going over your medical history and will take into account any medications you are currently taking.

Consider it a must to discuss with your dentist the details of the procedure including any of the possible risks. In addition, ensure you ask questions if there’s anything you are unclear about.


Dr. Gerald Tan