Sedation Dentistry: All You Need to Know

We all know that going to the dentist is not many people’s best encounter. Some people would rather endure the pain of a toothache rather than go to a dentist for treatment. If you fall into this group, you are not alone. The good news is a dentist visit does not have to be a nightmare with Encino sedation dentistry services. A dentist can administer sedation for everything, a simple tooth cleaning to more invasive procedures. How the dentist uses the sedation depends on your level of anxiety or fear.

What Is Sedation Dentistry?

Sedation dentistry refers to the use of medication to help patients relax during dental treatments and procedures. Some people refer to it as sleep dentistry. When undergoing sedation dentistry procedures, you remain awake unless the dentist administers general anesthesia. The different levels of sedation include:

  • Minimal sedation- You remain awake but in a more relaxed mood.
  • Moderate sedation – It is also known as conscious sedation. You can speak vaguely but may not remember much of the events during the procedure.
  • Deep sedation – You are barely conscious but can still be awakened.
  • Complete sedation – You have completely lost consciousness.

What Types of Sedation Are Used in Sedation Dentistry?

Sedation dentistry mainly uses inhaled minimal sedation. In this case, you breathe nitrous oxide or laughing gas mixed with oxygen to help you relax. The dentist has complete control over the amount of sedation you receive. The effects of the gas also wear off fast. When used, you can safely drive yourself home after the procedure.

A dentist can also go for oral sedation. The level of sedation can range from minimal to moderate, depending on the dose received. When you need minimal sedation, you will take a pill almost an hour before the procedure. While you stay awake, the drug makes you drowsy. It is commonly used in sedation dentistry. In some cases, you may fall asleep, but the dentist can awaken you with a soft shake.

IV moderate sedation involves the administration of a drug through a vein so it can take effect quickly. This allows the dentist to adjust the level of sedation you receive constantly.

In deep sedation or general anesthesia, the dentist provides medications that make you almost unconscious or totally unconscious. When used, you can hardly be woken up until the effects of the drug fade away. The dentist can also use reverse medication to awaken you from deep sedation.

Who Can Have Sedation Dentistry?

Sedation dentistry suits anyone with a form of anxiety or fear that stops them from seeing a dentist. You can also qualify for sedation dentistry if you have a low pain threshold, sensitive teeth, or a bad gag reflex. Sedation dentistry also comes in handy if you need a lot of dental work or cannot sit still during the procedure.

Nitrous oxide has no safety concerns when used in children, and any dentist can administer it.

To summarize, sedation dentistry involves the use of medication to help you relax during a dental procedure. The level of sedation you receive varies depending on a few factors, such as your tolerance to pain and the amount of dental work you need.