How Is Sedation Dentistry different than General Anesthesia?

How Is Sedation Dentistry different than General Anesthesia?

When you are supposed to get an invasive or extensive dental procedure done, sedation dentistry helps in keeping you relaxed during the procedure. Apart from numbing the site of treatment, sedation dentistry is used for making the patient comfortable. However, sedation dentistry is different than general anesthesia. It is good to have a deep understanding about the two of them says, Anesthesiologist.

Minimal sedation is given only for relieving anxiety and it has little effect on the patient’s awareness. On the other hand, moderate sedation suppresses the consciousness, but leaves the patient capable of responding to external stimuli. In the case of deep sedation, the patient responds to only painful or repeated stimuli.

General anesthesia, unlike sedation, puts the patient to sleep. The anesthesia may be administered again if the effect begins to wear off. Towards the end of the procedure, the drugs for anesthesia are stopped so that the patient can gain consciousness after a while.

Difference between Sedation Dentistry and General Anesthesia

While both general anesthesia and sedation are forms of anesthesia, they are different from one another in several ways. Patients under general anesthesia have a complete loss of consciousness which means that the patient will not feel, hear, or remember anything. On the other hand, sedation is a state of being relaxed which is somewhere between being sleep and relaxed in consciousness. Though the patient will not feel pain, they will be aware of what’s going around them.

The side effects associated with general anesthesia can be avoided with sedation, says the dentist in Burke. During sedation, patients can maintain their physiological reflexes and are capable of breathing on their own. However, in some instances of sedation, respiratory support may be needed. Did you know that some anesthesiologists prefer general anesthesia as it allows them to have complete control of the airway and eliminates the worry about patient oxygenation? But it’s to be known that the recovery period from sedation is quicker than general anesthesia.

During sedation, the cardiovascular functions remain unaffected but it can be impaired with general anesthesia which may need careful monitoring. In both cases, the patients are required to not have food few hour priors to the procedure. Light sedation may be given after fasting for two hours.

Benefits of Sedation Dentistry

  • Overcome Fear and Anxiety

    It’s a lighter sleep that keeps you conscious and responsive during the procedure. However, it helps in getting rid of the fear and anxiety. If anxiety keeps you from getting dental treatments, sedation can help in feeling relaxed throughout the procedure. There is no need to be embarrassed and the procedure goes through comfortably.

  • Ease of Treatment

    Whether you struggle with a gag reflex or have sensitive gums or teeth, sedation helps the dentist in performing dental procedures without any stress. When the patient is relaxed, the treatment is easier for both the patient and the dentist as sedation allows the patient to rest.

  • Comfort and Rest

    Many patients share that sedation dentistry allows them to rest quietly and calmly during the treatment and it offers a relaxing break from a busy life.

  • Fewer Appointments

    With the help of sedation dentistry, the patients can get the dental procedure done in fewer appointments. Since the patient is relaxed, the dentist can work efficiently in a lesser amount of time. Extensive procedures may need multiple visits but with advanced sedation dentistry, the procedure can be completed in as little as one visit.

Benefits of General Anesthesia

  • General anesthesia enables the patient to tolerate surgical procedures which would otherwise cause unbearable pain.
  • It puts the patient in a deep sleep and reduces awareness and recall. It also allows muscle relaxation for a prolonged period of time.
  • General anesthesia can also be used if a person has a sensitivity to the local anesthetic agent.
  • It can be easily adapted to the procedures of unpredictable duration or extent.
  • It can be administered rapidly and can also be reversed quite fast.
  • It allows stillness for a prolonged period of time and allows extensive surgeries or procedures to go through easily.

Whether to choose sedation or general anesthesia depends on your dentist as he is the best person to decide the right option for you.

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