Two Different Things: Sedation and General Anesthesia

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Dental Procedure in MeridianDo you go to the dentist regularly? If not, does going to the dentist scare you a bit? There ‘s no need to worry. Many people experience dental fear and anxiety; you are not alone.

You don’t have to postpone your dental appointments and live in fear because you can get the treatment you need and feel relaxed at the same time. There are dentists that now offer sedation dentistry. While many offer this service, make sure you are going to get this service from a reliable clinic.

But, before you schedule an appointment, you need to understand the difference between “sedation” and “general anesthesia.” These two terms mean different things and should not be used interchangeably. Depending on the procedure you are getting, you may need either one to make you feel relaxed and comfortable.


A registered nurse performs and monitors sedation. This is a “lighter sleep” compared to general anesthesia, which means any form of stimulation is possible to wake the patient under sedation.

There are different methods of taking sedatives. This includes oral sedatives, IV sedation, and nitrous oxide sedation.

These may not alleviate the pain felt during the procedure, so an addition of local anesthetic may be administered. There are levels to this as well: minimal, moderate, and deep sedation.

General Anesthesia

This is characterized by the loss of consciousness induced by drugs where patients cannot be aroused by any type of stimulation. Patients who are under general anesthesia require assistance to maintain regular breathing. They may also need positive pressure ventilation as depression of neuromuscular function may occur.

An anesthesiologist or a certified registered nurse anesthetist administers this, which is done by inhaling it from a mask attached to anesthesia machine or through IV medication.

These two are available to make patients comfortable and relaxed during their dental procedures. There is nothing to be worried about, so go to the dentist and get your teeth checked for a healthier, more confident you.

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