What is Sedation Dentistry?
Sedation dentistry refers to the use of sedation medications during dental treatment. Sedation is most commonly used during extensive procedures, for patients with dental phobia or for patients who find it difficult to sit still.
Patients with dental phobia, low pain tolerance, major dental treatment, physical handicaps or strong gag reflexes may require sedation. Procedures like fillings, crowns, bridges, root canals, extractions, cosmetic procedures and periodontal treatments can be done under sedation. For those patients requiring a lot of treatment, sedation can be used to complete the treatment in less visits.
Sedation is endorsed by the American Dental Association, and is an effective way to make many patients comfortable during their dental visit. Before using a sedative or anesthetic, it is important to tell your dentist about any medications or medical treatments you are receiving. Before administering any sedative or anesthetic, your dentist will talk to you about the process of sedation and pre-and post-sedation instructions.
Nitrous oxide, more commonly known as laughing gas, is often used as a conscious sedative during a dental visit. The gas is administered with a mixture of oxygen and has a calming effect that helps phobic or anxious patients relax during their dental treatment. Because it is a mild sedative, patients are still conscious and can talk to their dentist during their visit. After treatment, the nitrous is turned off and oxygen is administered for five to 10 minutes to help flush any remaining gas. The effects wear off almost immediately. Your doctor will provide you with pre-and post-sedation instructions.
The use of sedative medications can help make you more comfortable during your dental procedure. Trained sedation dentists have a variety of protocols available to customize to each patients physiological and pharmalogical needs. So even if you have a unique medical condition, there still may be options. Some of these can even help you remember little of the visit, preventing the sounds and smells from lingering in your thoughts.
Sedation medication is administered intravenously. This allows the dentist optimal control of the medication administered and allows them to readily increase or decrease your level of sedation as needed. Although you may lie back comfortably with your eyes closed, you will not be asleep during your appointment and will still be able to respond to verbal cues from your dentist. Because you are completely relaxed, your dentist can accomplish more high-quality dentistry in less time. Patients remember little-to-nothing of their appointment by the next day. IV sedation includes faster onset of the sedation medications, meaning you'll be able to feel the effects of the medication quickly.
Steps to Sedation
- Step One: Making the call to schedule your first appointment
- Step Two: Welcoming Visit- Discover what sedation can do for you
- Step Three: The night before treatment - Preparing yourself for your sedation/anxiety free visit
- Step Four: Arriving for treatment
- Step Five: Going home with your new smile
- Step Six: The next day -Happy memories of your treatment