What You Need To Know About Sedation Dentistry

If you experience dental anxiety, have a low threshold for pain, or are undergoing a complex or lengthy procedure, sedation dentistry can help you get the care you need while maximizing your comfort and minimizing your pain. Sedation dentistry involves the use of medication that helps you feel relaxed and calm during your procedure.

Here are a few things you need to know about sedation dentistry

There are Different Levels of Sedation

Depending on your specific dental needs, preferences, and overall health, your dentist may recommend one of the following types of sedation: minimal sedation, moderate sedation, deep sedation, or general anesthesia.

Minimal sedation means that you are awake, but feel relaxed. Nitrous oxide (also known as laughing gas) is one alternative for minimal sedation.

Moderate sedation indicates that you're relaxed and awake, but likely won't remember much of your procedure. IV medication is often used for moderate dental sedation.

Deep sedation uses medication to put you in a state where you're deeply asleep but still respond to specific stimuli. 

General anesthesia will render you unconscious, and slow many of your body's functions. Patients frequently need help from medical equipment to keep their bodies functioning properly when under general anesthesia. 

Some Options for Sedation Dentistry Require You to Have Someone Take You Home

Many medications for sedation dentistry take a few hours to completely wear off, making it imperative for you to recruit a friend or family member to take you home after the procedure. It isn't safe for you to drive if you're feeling groggy or loopy due to your sedation medication.

One exception that lets you drive yourself home after your appointment is laughing gas. Once the laughing gas is no longer being administered, you'll quickly feel alert and like your normal self. 

Sedation Can Help You Receive Prompt Dental Treatment

Some patients put off dental treatments that they need because they're worried about feeling pain or discomfort during the procedure. Or, perhaps they have a sensitive gag reflex and know their treatment will be unpleasant.

Sedation dentistry helps these patients get the timely dental care that they need. Since some alternatives make it difficult for patients to remember the procedure, sedation is ideal for individuals with previous dental procedures that were painful or distressing. 

If you have several dental care needs, using sedation dentistry can help you decrease the number of dental appointments that you need to restore your oral health. Thanks to the relaxed, pain-free state provided by sedation, your dentist is often able to complete more dental work with a single appointment.