SEDATION DENTISTRY

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Dental sedation services

The purpose of sedation dentistry, often referred to as “sleep dentistry” or “relaxing dentistry”, is to help the patient feel at ease and virtually eliminate any sensitivity during the dental procedure. Sedation dentistry may be a viable option for a patient who is anxious or has fears about their dental care. Sedation dentistry might be the best option for approaching your dental care if you:

  • Have low pain tolerance
  • Severe gag reflex
  • Need extensive dental work to be done on the same appointment
  • Have a hard time siting still for a prolonged period

Most people think that sedation dentistry involves being put to sleep during the dental procedure but that is not necessarily the case. Although general anesthesia, or being put completely to sleep, can be an option it is not common and rarely necessary. There are many conscious sedation techniques that are extremely effective in relaxing the patient and reducing any dental sensitivity, most of the time leaving the patient without any recollection of the treatment. Even though you are awake during conscious sedation, your pain perception is lowered and you remain completely relaxed during the procedure. Here are a few common conscious sedation techniques.

Nitrous Oxide

Commonly referred to as laughing gas, nitrous oxide is the most common used technique for light to moderate dental sedation. Nitrous oxide takes effect relatively quickly causing a sensation of feeling euphoric and relaxed during the dental procedure. Also, nitrous oxide wears off within minutes after the procedure making it ideal for patient who want to go about their day after completing their dental work with no prolonged effects.

Oral Sedation

Oral sedation involves taking of a medication prescribed by your dentist prior to the procedure. The type of medication is individually based and decided by your dentist based of factors such as your medical history and dental procedure to be conducted. Oral sedation produces a relaxed feeling putting you at ease during your dental treatment. The recovery time is a little more prolonged often requiring someone to drive you home after the dental treatment.

IV Sedation

Intravenous sedation is similar to oral sedation but works much quicker and your dentist has more control over the level of sedation needed during the treatment. In IV sedation the medication is administered intravenously and monitored by your dentist or anesthesiologist throughout the treatment. Adjustment to the level of sedation can be made during the treatment and medication after the treatment can be given to help reverse the effects of the sedative medications increasing recovery time. However, patients still may require someone to drive them home after their treatment.

General Anesthesia

Known as “sleep dentistry”, general anesthesia puts the patient completely to sleep during the procedure. This procedure is commonly used for patients who do not respond well to other sedation techniques or for patients who require extensive dental treatment in single appointments. This is because general anesthesia requires assisted breathing among other factors which increases the complexity of the procedure. However, the recovery time is similar to that of oral or IV sedation and you can be easily awaked after the procedure until the effects wear off. You will still require someone to drive you home after the procedure.

If you are interested in having sedation dentistry ask Dr. Dekano or any one of our dentists which procedure is right for you. They will review each treatment option with you, factoring your medical health and treatment needed, to come up with the best option for your needs.

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