Sedation for nervous clients
Most people have some level of anxiety about having dental treatment. For some this anxiety is phobic and prevents them from even entering a dental practice. Sedation ("twilight sleep") for dental procedures can be achieved either by intra-venous (I.V.) injection of a sedative liquid such as Midazolam, or by inhalation of a sedative gas mixture of Nitrous Oxide ("Laughing Gas") and Oxygen.
There is no loss of consciousness with either of these techniques, with communication with the client possible throughout.
Midazolam sedation (I.V.) is accompanied by amnesia, which is useful for a long dental procedure. Local analgesia is required as Midazolam has no analgesic (pain-killing) properties.
For Nitrous Oxide sedation, the client breathes the gas mixture through a small plastic nose-piece. Because the mixture contains a minimum of 75% oxygen (and maximum 25% nitrous oxide) there is no sense of nausea associated with use of a higher concentration of nitrous oxide (for example Entonox contains 50% nitrous oxide). Nitrous oxide does have some analgesic properties, making it very useful for dental procedures.
The purpose of sedation in dentistry is to allow a nervous client to receive treatment, with the long-term goal of a gradual increase in the client's sense of security and trust, to the point when sedation is no longer required.