Imagine undergoing a complex periodontal treatment. When your treatment is complete, you have no recollection of the time it took, the pain, the noise, or the discomfort you were expecting.
We are pleased to offer our patients the option of comfortable, safe, and effective sedation dentistry. Patients who benefit from sedation dentistry have:
- Fear or anxiety of being at the dentist
- Difficulty sitting still for long periods of time
- A hard time getting (and staying) numb from anesthetics
What is sedation dentistry?
Sedation dentistry allows our doctors, with the help of an anesthesiologist, to provide a variety of periodontal treatments safely and comfortably for patients who experience anxiety when visiting the dentist. There are several benefits of sedation dentistry, including:
- No memory of undergoing the procedure
- No sense of time while under sedation
- No sense of smell or sound
- No fear or anxiety during treatment
Patients who have undergone a procedure using sedation dentistry will tell you it’s a simple, relaxing way to receive the periodontal care you need.
I’m nervous about being unconscious; what levels of sedation are available to me?
There’s no need to be nervous about having sedation dentistry at our practice. We are licensed by the American Dental Association, and you’ll find that we are both respectful and professional at all times.
Sedation dentistry is closely regulated by law, and there are three sedative states at which a periodontist can administer your treatment: mild sedation, moderate sedation, and deep sedation.
- Mild Sedation — Anxiolysis is the lightest form of sedation dentistry and often used for patients with mild anxiety, longer procedures, or more complex situations. Usually administered orally, with mild sedation you remain awake or very sleepy throughout the entire procedure and are able to breathe on your own, but you will feel a great sense of relaxation. Patients typically recover from anxiolysis sedation within a few hours after the procedure is complete. Nitrous oxide inhalation (laughing gas) is another form of mild-to-moderate sedation that ensures you are very relaxed during treatment.
- Moderate Sedation (under the supervision of an anesthesiologist) — Used for patients with moderate dental anxiety and for patients who need longer or more complex procedures, conscious sedation often refers to the use of light IV sedation. With conscious sedation, you will remain awake throughout your procedure, but will be in a deep state of relaxation. It is recommended that patients who receive conscious sedation have a parent, spouse, or friend accompany them to appointments because it can take several hours for the sedative to wear off and driving may be unsafe.
- Deep Sedation (under the supervision of an anesthesiologist) — Patients receiving deep sedation go between consciousness and unconsciousness during their periodontal procedure. They often have no recollection of the treatment and are unable to respond to commands even if they are awake at times during the procedure. It is recommended that patients receiving deep sedation have a parent, spouse, or friend accompany them to appointments because it can take several hours for the sedative to wear off and driving may be unsafe.
How are sedatives administered?
- Inhalation — Nitrous oxide, or laughing gas, is the most frequently used method for easing mild-to-moderate anxiety. Recovery is quick, so you can resume your normal activities immediately.
- Oral — An extremely common technique for dental sedation is oral sedation. It’s easy and doesn’t require the use of needles. You will be given a prescription pill, taken about an hour before your appointment, so that by the time you arrive at our office, you’re fully relaxed.
Please contact our practice to schedule a consultation, learn more about sedation dentistry, and find out which sedation dentistry method is right for you.