Our sedation dentistry allows you to have extensive work done on your teeth without the pain, discomfort and anxiety you might feel otherwise. If you suffer from dental phobia or dental anxiety, the idea of visiting a dentist can seem overwhelming. At the same time, dental pain and poor oral health cause their own type of discomfort. Why not ask our dentist to make the process easier for you? We can accommodate your needs easily in-house at our convenient Metro West Dental location.
Sedation Dentistry Basics
When we offer you sedation dentistry, we are referring to giving medications before and during dental treatment. The medications help you relax and can ease the discomfort you might associate with going to the dentist.
Is Sedation Only for Intensive Treatments?
You don’t have to wait until you have a dental problem to take advantage of our sedation services. If the thought of coming in for a cleaning distresses you, we can give you sedatives to help you relax.
Levels of Sedation
Depending on the extent of the treatment and your level of anxiety associated with dental work, we can recommend any of several different types of sedation. With minimal sedation, you are fully aware but more relaxed. With moderate sedation, you are conscious, but you may not remember the procedure well and may notice minor effects like slurring your words. Deep sedation means you are nearly unconscious, but our dentist can awaken you easily. Only with general anesthesia are you totally unconscious.
Nitrous oxide, also called “laughing gas,” is the choice of many patients who have some anxiety about having dental procedures. We start by putting a small mask over your nose. The mask delivers nitrous oxide combined with oxygen to relax you. This inhaled sedation is so minimal that you may be able to drive afterwards.
Oral medications can be used to provide minimal to moderate sedation. The doctor prescribes a medication such as Halcion, which you take one hour before the procedure. Depending on the strength of the dose, the effects range from fully conscious relaxation to grogginess. You may even get so sleepy you fall asleep during the procedure. This is the most common form of sedation used by dentists.
Moderate IV Sedation
If your fears are more intense, we can offer you moderate sedation medications delivered by IV. The sedation medication enters your body through a vein for a rapid effect. Your dentist can adjust IV medications as needed during the procedure.
We try to avoid using general anesthesia whenever possible. In most cases, moderate sedation is enough to make you feel comfortable. However, if you have severe dental phobia or are having multiple procedures at one time, we can give general anesthesia. This type of sedation allows you to remain unconscious throughout the procedure.
Do You Still Need Local Anesthetic?
In most cases, you still need local anesthetic even with sedation dentistry. The good news for you is that the injection will be much more comfortable. If you choose moderate to deep sedation, you may not feel it at all.