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A sedative that is already in use in intensive care units may soon be able to be used in dental care scenarios as well, it has emerged.
According to a study reported in Anesthesia Progress, intravenous Dexmedetomidine (Dex) could be used effectively in dental offices, Dental Economics reports.
The research found that when used in small doses, Dex can result in a patient falling into a state that resembles natural sleep within 10 minutes of the dosage being administered.
After the effects wear off, patients are able to reorient themselves within 15 minutes and fully recover their balance within 60 minutes.
With these findings in mind, the news source reports that choosing to discontinue infusion of Dex about 15 minutes before the procedure is completed "is recommended to minimize recovery time."
It also notes that participants in the study were "relatively young and healthy," which suggests that variations may have to be made for patients who have different characteristics.
Dex was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 1999 for use in intensive care units, according to DocMD.com.
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