Sedation Dentistry

There are times when our dentists recommend some type of sedation, based on the severity or length of procedure.  Depending on the type of sedation used, you may have no recollection of the time it took, the pain, the noise, or the discomfort you were expecting. We are pleased to offer our patients the option of comfortable, safe, and effective sedation dentistry. Patients who benefit from sedation dentistry have:

  • A fear or anxiety of being at the dentist
  • A hard time sitting still for long periods of time
  • A lengthy or multiple procedures
  • A hard time getting (and staying) numb from anesthetics

What is sedation dentistry?

Sedation dentistry allows your doctor to provide a variety of dental treatments safely and comfortably for patients who experience anxiety when visiting the dentist. There are several benefits to sedation dentistry, including:

  • No memory of undergoing the procedure
  • No sense of time while under sedation
  • No sense of smell or sound
  • No fear or anxiety during treatment

Patients who have undergone a procedure using sedation dentistry will tell you it is a simple, relaxing way to experience dentistry.

I am nervous about being unconscious. What levels of sedation are available to me?

There is no need to be nervous about having sedation dentistry at our practice. We are licensed by the American Dental Association, and you will find that we are both respectful and professional at all times.

Sedation dentistry is closely regulated by law, and there are three sedative states. Your dentist can administer three of these options in office: mild sedation, moderate sedation, and deep IV sedation.

  • Mild Sedation —  Nitrous oxide inhalation (laughing gas) is the most common form of mild sedation that results in relaxation during treatment.  Recovery is almost instant after a few breaths of regular oxygen.
  • Moderate Sedation — Conscious Sedation is often used for patients with anxiety, longer procedures, or more complex situations. Conscious sedation is usually administered orally. You remain awake or very sleepy throughout the entire procedure and are able to breathe on your own, but you will feel a great sense of relaxation. You may not remember much of the procedure, but will be responsive and able to follow instructions. Patients typically recover from conscious sedation within a few hours after the procedure is complete.
  • In Office Deep IV Sedation -Used for patients with moderate dental anxiety and for patients who need longer or more complex procedures. Medication is administered in the office through and IV and monitored by a dental anesthesiologist, who is also able to adjust medication easily.
  • General Anesthesia - This procedure is conducted in a hospital or surgery center.  This options is for extreme cases.  You are put under general anesthesia by an anesthesiologist and then the dental work is performed by one of our Board Certified Pediatric Dentists.  This is generally done as an out patient procedure.

How are sedatives administered?

  • Inhalation — Nitrous oxide, or laughing gas, is the most frequently used method for easing mild to moderate anxiety. Recovery is quick so you can resume your normal activities immediately.
  •  Oral — An extremely common technique for dental sedation is oral sedation. It is easy and does not require the use of needles. Your child will be given liquid medicine which is given by the specially trained dentist.
  •  IV - This is given intravenously.  It is administered and closely monitored through and IV by a licensed dental anesthesiologist.

Please contact our practice to schedule a consultation, learn more about sedation dentistry, and find out which sedation dentistry method may be right for you.

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