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Sedation Dentistry And How It Is Administered

Does the thought of having a cavity filled or even getting your teeth cleaned strike fear in your heart? Do the days leading up to a dental procedure make you anxious and irritable? Maybe you should ask your dentist about sedation dentistry. With sedation dentistry, you can actually relax and look forward to having your procedure.

Sedation is used to calm patients who experience anxiety or panic when they see their dentist, have extreme dental sensitivity, or have a lengthy procedure scheduled. In addition, it calms the gag reflex and helps increase tolerance for pain.

Here are the four types of sedation dentistry and various ways in which they are administered. Your dentist will help you find the option that is best for you.

Minimal Sedation

Minimal sedation causes you to feel relaxed, but you are still aware of the verbal commands of your dentist. You will be awake but calm during the procedure.

Laughing Gas

Minimal sedation is often provided using laughing gas. A mask is placed over your nose, and you breathe in nitrous oxide mixed with oxygen. The gas causes you to relax and lets the dentist work on your teeth without anxiety. The sedation wears off quickly after the mask is removed, and you'll be able to drive yourself home without complication.

Oral Sedatives

Instead of the laughing gas, you may be given a pill which you'll take an hour or so before the procedure.

Intravenous Sedation

Having the drug administered intravenously is an option as well.

Moderate Sedation

Moderate sedation is also known as "conscious sedation" and is deeper than minimal. You may not remember much of the dental procedure once the sedation has worn off, but you're still responsive while under the sedation.

Moderate sedation is administered orally or through an IV.

Deep Sedation

Deep sedation will cause you to drift off to sleep, but you can still be awakened. It is normally induced by oral or intravenous medication. You will remember very little, if anything at all, about the procedure.

General Anesthesia

General anesthesia causes you to become completely unconscious. After a few hours, once the effect of the sedation has worn off, you won't be able to remember any of the procedure. General anesthesia is often reserved for oral surgery.

Schedule a consultation to talk openly to your dentist about any anxieties or phobias you may have. He or she can advise if sedation dentistry is the right option for you. 

For a cosmetic dentist, contact an office such as Artistic Dentistry by Gerard Wasselle, DMD.