Imagine undergoing a complex periodontal treatment. When your treatment is complete, you 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 hard time getting (and staying) numb from anesthetics
What is sedation dentistry?
Sedation dentistry allows your doctor to provide a variety of periodontal treatments safely and comfortably for patients who experience anxiety when visiting the dentist. There are several benefits of 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’s a simple, relaxing way to receive the periodontal care you need.
I’m nervous about being unconscious. What levels of sedation are available to me?
There’s no need to be nervous about having sedation dentistry at our practice. We are licensed by the American Dental Association, and you’ll find that we are both respectful and professional at all times.
Sedation dentistry is closely regulated by law, and there are three sedative states at which your periodontist can administer your treatment: mild sedation, moderate sedation, and deep sedation.
- Mild Sedation - Anxiolysis the lightest form of sedation dentistry and is often used for patients with mild anxiety, longer procedures, or more complex situations. Usually administered orally, with mild sedation, 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. You will need a driver to bring you to and from the appointment as the oral medication may impair your ability to drive. Nitrous oxide inhalation (laughing gas) is another form of mild to moderate sedation where you are very relaxed during treatment. With laughing gas alone, you will not need a driver as recovery is quick.
- 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 recommended that patients receiving 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 may be unsafe.
- Deep Sedation - Patients receiving deep sedation go between consciousness and unconsciousness during their periodontal procedure. Patients often have no recollection of the treatment and are unable to respond to commands even if they are awake at times during the procedure. It is recommended that patients receiving 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 may be 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’s easy and doesn’t require the use of needles. You will be given a prescription pill, taken about an hour before your appointment, so that by the time you arrive at our office, you’re fully relaxed. You will need a driver to bring you to and from the appointment as your ability to drive may be impaired.
Please contact our practice to schedule a consultation, learn more about sedation dentistry, and find out which sedation dentistry method is right for you.