We recognize that some of our patients may feel some apprehension about receiving dental care. Our doctors and staff work hard to make sure your experience is a comfortable and pleasant one. We believe that feeling anxious should never prevent you from enjoying the dental health and beautiful smile you deserve. 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 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. Sedation dentistry is closely regulated, and there are three sedative states at which your dentist can administer your treatment: mild sedation, moderate sedation, and deep sedation.
- Mild Sedation — Anxiolysis is the lightest form of sedation dentistry and is often used for patients with mild anxiety, longer procedures, or more complex situations. Mild 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. Patients typically recover from anxiolysis sedation within a few hours after the procedure is complete. Nitrous oxide inhalation (laughing gas) is another form of mild to moderate sedation that results in relaxation during treatment.
- Moderate Sedation — Used for patients with moderate dental anxiety and for patients who need longer or more complex procedures, conscious sedation often refers to the use of light IV sedation. With conscious sedation, you will remain awake throughout your procedure, but will be in a deep state of relaxation. It is required that patients who receive conscious sedation have a parent, spouse, or friend accompany them to appointments because it can take several hours for the sedative to wear off and driving is unsafe.
- Deep Sedation — Patients receiving deep sedation go between consciousness and unconsciousness during their dental procedure. It is required that patients who receive deep sedation have a parent, spouse, or friend accompany them to appointments because it can take several hours for the sedative to wear off and driving is unsafe.
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. You will be given a prescription pill which, taken about an hour before your appointment, will have you fully relaxed by the time you arrive at our office.
- Intravenous — The doctor will gently place an IV and administer medication to help you into a deeper state of relaxation. Using IV sedation dentistry, we may be able to complete several different procedures in just one visit. When the treatment is over and you wake up, you will have little or no memory of the procedure and a new beautiful smile.
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.