What is sedation?
Sedation is, in short, relaxation. Sedation during dental treatment can be of great help. With most types of sedation, you are not completely unconscious (unlike what happens during anesthesia); You are only given some medication to help you relax.
If the anxiety you have is so pronounced that it is impossible for you to go to the dentist, you may want to consider whether you should be put under anesthesia to have the necessary dental treatment performed. If you have a medical certificate proving that the condition has lasted over time and is the cause of your dental problems, you have the right to be covered for part of the treatment of HELFO. Christiania tanlegesenter has an anesthesia machine and its own team of anesthetists and anesthesia nurses affiliated with the clinic. You can read more about anesthesia treatment here.
Sedation during dental treatment can also be used in patients who have poor swallowing reflex and who have a lot of work to do. It can be used by those who struggle to sit still in the dental chair, have sensitive teeth, or have a low pain threshold.
It is also helpful in treating the psychological fear. You should consider sedation if:
- You have fear or anxiety at the thought of having dental treatment performed. You know that having a compassionate dentist or psychological techniques during treatment is not enough
- You do not want to see what happens during the treatment.
- You fear something specific, such as anesthesia, that will be used during treatment.
What types of sedation do we use in the dentist’s office today?
There are three common forms of sedation:
- Oral sedation is given as pills or a liquid. Sedation can vary from small to moderate. For minimal sedation, the patient may take a pill such as valium, which is often prescribed by doctors for problems with mild anxiety or insomnia. The patient takes the pill about an hour before the procedure and will still be awake (even if you want to feel drowsy). Xanor, Flunipam or Sobril are other common sedatives that we use.
- Inhalation sedation, better known as nitrous oxide. This is a combination of nitrous oxide and oxygen. It is administered through a mask placed over the nose, and the dentist can easily check how much gas you are receiving.
- Anesthesia is used to put the patient into a deep sleep for more invasive procedures or in case of high degree of treatment refusal, for example in odontophobia. We are now collaborating with an anesthesiologist and anesthesia nurse to get this offer at our clinic.
What should I do if I want sedation during dental treatment?
The first thing you should do is talk to your dentist and ask any questions you may have. And the dentist should ask you questions, too! He should get your medical history and an overview of any medications you are taking today. This is to make sure that you do not have risk factors that are contraindicated for the use of sedation (eg: malignant hypothermia). He will then outline the choices of sedation available to you to inform about the procedure that follows. If you agree on the use of anesthesia, you must fill out a form that sheds light on your health situation. You must normally also have a doctor’s certificate. Be sure to ask questions if something is not completely clear. After all, the dentist is there to help and alleviate your fears!
If you have dental problems and have not been able to go to the dentist over time due to of dental fear you should have a doctor or psychologist statement on this. In many cases, you can get support from HELFO for the dental treatment. Your dentist can help you with this.
If you want to know more about this, we recommend that you contact one of our friendly receptionists who can set you up for a consultation with one of our dentists or sign up for an information meeting that we arrange regularly. You can read more about this here.