How Does Sedation Dentistry Work?
There are four levels of sedation in sedation dentistry—minimal, moderate, deep, and general anesthesia.
- With minimal sedation, the patient is conscious but very relaxed.
- WIth moderate sedation, the patient is conscious but heavily inebriated (e.g. slurring words, inhibited fine motor function, etc.).
- With deep sedation, the patient is on the verge of consciousness—they will not remember parts of their dental procedure, and will often feel as though they are “in a dream.”
- With general anesthesia, the patient is rendered unconscious.
A variety of medications (nitrous oxide, halcion, propofol, etc.) can be used to sedate the patient, and these drugs can be delivered in a variety of ways (gas, pill, IV, etc.), depending upon what the dentist determines to be in the patient’s best interest.
Once the dentist determines the prescribed sedative medication is taking effect, they will begin performing your dental procedure.
Why Do People Choose Sedation Dentistry?
Sedation is used in any dental procedure that would otherwise cause extreme discomfort or pain. It is also used for patients who suffer from extreme anxiety and distress related to an underlying dental phobia.
Anyone who struggles with intense fear related to dentistry or dental care should talk to the professionals at Dean Dental Services about sedation dentistry.
What to Expect When Getting Sedated?
Sedation dentistry starts before you walk into the dentist’s office—you’ll be given a set of preparation guidelines that you’ll need to follow before coming in. In most cases, the guidelines stipulate that you must avoid eating any food or drinking any liquids (other than water) the night before your appointment.
This prescribed fasting will make the sedatives used by your dentist more effective, and help mitigate the chance of experiencing any unwanted side effects from the medication.
When you arrive at the dentist’s office, you’ll be checked in, taken to an examination room, and given your prescribed sedative. Once the sedative begins to take effect, the dentist will proceed with your procedure (e.g. deep cleaning, root canal, etc.).
As soon as the procedure is finished, and the dentist has deemed it safe, you’ll be allowed to go home. However, it is important to note that because of the medication used, you will not be able to take yourself home. A family member or friend should pick you up from the dental office.
You may feel groggy for several hours following the appointment—this is normal. You should feel clear-headed and lucid again within 24 hours.
Should I Get Sedation Dentistry?
Does the thought of going to the dentist give you extreme anxiety? Do you need extensive dental work, like a tooth extraction and replacement? If so, sedation dentistry might be for you. The only way to know if sedation dentistry makes sense for you is to talk to a qualified dentist. Please feel free to contact the professionals at Dean Dental Solutions anytime with your questions.
What Does Sedation Dentistry Feel Like?
For most patients, sedation feels like being in a light sleep—some people describe it like being in a pleasant, dream-like state of consciousness.
Are Sedation Dentistry and Sleep Dentistry the Same Thing?
No, they are not. In sleep dentistry, the patient is “asleep” thanks to the use of general anesthesia. In sedation dentistry, the patient is “awake” but physically incapacitated to some degree.