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Sedation Dentistry: What You Need To Know

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Are you scared of going to the dentist? Is your fear or anxiety so bad that you would rather deal with your dental problem (such as a toothache) rather than visit the dentist and have it taken care of? If this sounds like you, then you need to understand that there are options available for you so that you can have dental work performed without having to endure the stresses of the situation. It's called sedation dentistry.

What Is Sedation Dentistry?

The sedation dentistry process specifically involves the administration of medication that will relax you while a dental procedure is performed on you. It is often known as sleep dentistry, although the individual is awake and conscious for the procedure unless they are given general anesthesia. With that being said, there are multiple levels of sedation.

What Levels of Sedation Are Available?

As mentioned, there are various levels of sedation for dental procedures and are different in their own right. Here is a brief explanation of each one:

  • Mild Dental Sedation – This is the lowest form of dental sedation and is administered by giving dental patients Nitrous Oxide, also more commonly known as "laughing gas".
  • Moderate Dental Sedation – As a general rule, this type of dental sedation is given orally and is provided to the patient roughly one hour prior to the dental procedure. While you would be awake during the procedure, you may or may not be able to recall all of the events of it.
  • Deep Dental Sedation – This particular form of dental sedation can be administered orally (it will be a higher strength dose than the aforementioned oral medication) or via IV. If through the IV, it will work faster since it is through your veins. You will be semi-conscious during your dental procedure and can easily be shaken to wake up once the procedure is over.
  • High Dental Sedation (aka General Anesthesia) – This is the highest level of dental sedation and is only provided to patients who are undergoing severely invasive dental surgeries. This is most commonly referred to as sleep dentistry since you will be completely unconscious and will only wake up once the anesthesia wears off.

Who Are Candidates for Sedation Dentistry?

Is everyone a candidate for sedation dentistry? There are a few factors that may make you stand out as a candidate. Aside from your fear or anxiety to visit the dentist or have a procedure, you may also need dental sedation if you have a severe gag reflex, sensitive teeth/gums, are undergoing a major procedure, or because of your age.

If you would like to learn more about sedation dentistry and see if you are candidate so that you can finally get that dental work done that you have been too scared to get done because of your fear of the dentist, get in touch with a family dentist.