Sedation Dentistry for Seniors
Over the years, a lot of elderly choose not to visit their dentist due to the fear and anxiety over minor and major operations.
While most procedures in our office do not require sedation, many patients prefer some form of sedation.
There are three common procedures that an elderly patient can choose from:
· Intravenous sedation or twilight sedation is a type of anesthesia wherein the patient is injected through the vein to relax him. Dosage will depend on the type of procedure to be done. If it is just a simple tooth extraction the amount should be kept to minimum whereas invasive procedure might require an amount deep enough to put them to sleep. This kind of sedation is the most commonly used sedation for the elderly.
· Oral sedation is more popular that IV sedation and is a good option for those older people who fear needles and sharp objects to reduce anxiety on dental procedure. This is administered by swallowing a pill. A variety of drugs can be used such as triazolam, lorazepam, hydroxyzine, diazepam, and zaleplon. The sedatives reduce memory which is usually good for those that have experience prior dental trauma.
· Nitrous oxide sedation, also known as inhalation sedation, uses an administering mask wherein the patient can exhale the standard laughing gas-- N2O, and give them a pleasurable feeling. The gas is breathable, colorless, odorless, and does not irritate. Experienced dentists choose this type of sedation due to its ideal sedative circumstance. However, for elderly people who have complications in their lungs or respiratory system, inhaling sedation may not be best as the sedative travels to the system.