Stress, anxiety, and panic are common physical and mental concerns for people across the country. Many prefer to avoid the discomfort, cost, and stigmatization associated with traditional therapy forms.
Dentists and general practitioners have started prescribing sedatives like never before. But are sedatives the right choice for relieving stress?
Read on to learn more about levels of sedation and the different things they may be used for.
This is a form of sedation that helps patients feel relaxed and comfortable during medical or dental procedures. It is sometimes referred to as sleep dentistry. This is because patients remain conscious but relaxed throughout the procedure.
This type of sedation utilizes an inhaled mixture of oxygen and nitrous oxide, also known as laughing gas. Its effects are short-term. The patient experiences light relaxation but is still alert and conscious. They are able to breathe on their own and respond to verbal commands.
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Moderate Sedation/Analgesia or “Conscious Sedation”
This is a form of sedation that is given so that a patient can be relaxed during a medical procedure. It uses a combination of sedative medication and analgesic (pain-relieving) medication. It aims to provide a moderate level of sedation.
It does not cause patients to lose consciousness, but they may drift in and out of sleep or lose track of time. Patients are usually able to respond to the care team. They are able to follow commands during the procedure.
Deep Sedation/Analgesia is a term that is used to describe a deep level of anesthesia that goes beyond lighter forms of sedation. During deep sedation, the patient may appear to be unconscious. They may have difficulty controlling their movements or speaking.
This level of sedation is typically used during surgical procedures, such as during general anesthesia. Deep sedation/Analgesia can also be used to make a patient more comfortable during painful procedures. This includes complex dental work or undergoing MRI scans.
With deep sedation, the patient is conscious, but they are in such a state of relaxation that they remain unaware of their surroundings. To ensure patient safety, an anesthesia provider must monitor the patient’s vital signs. This must be done throughout the entirety of the procedure.
This is a sedative that is given to a patient to help them fall asleep. This also makes them insensitive or unconscious to pain, so they fully relax during surgery.
It is a combination of drugs administered intravenously with the help of a certified anesthesiologist. There are various levels of sedation. This ranges from minimal sedation, which has the patient feeling relaxed yet still awake and alert, all the way to general anesthesia. This completely renders the patient unconscious, with no awareness of the medical procedure in progress.
With general anesthesia, the patient’s breathing and heart rate are also monitored throughout the course of the procedure, and the patient is closely monitored to ensure their safety. Before getting yourself into this procedure, be sure to ask yourself, “Is ketamine therapy covered by insurance?“.
Explore the Levels of Sedation
Overall, understanding the levels of sedation can help provide the best patient experience. Healthcare professionals should consult their state regulations. This is to determine the appropriate level for individual patient needs.
Patients should talk to their doctor to help select the best sedation option for their procedure. If you or a loved one have any questions, contact your healthcare provider today.
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