Break the Ache with Sedation Dentistry in Philadelphia

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania is known for its varied cuisine. It doesn’t stop at Philly cheesesteaks, as other quintessential American fare such as hoagies and soft pretzels trace their origins to this city. While there’s nothing wrong with indulging in these delectable foods, it has to be supplemented with daily brushing and flossing to prevent tooth decay.

Aside from observing basic dental hygiene, everyone should visit their dentist at least once every six months. Qualified dentists can assess the overall condition of their patients’ teeth, use specialized equipment to remove plaque and tartar, and conduct procedures to resolve oral complications. Fortunately for patients who fear dental procedures due to the pain, sedation dentistry in Philadelphia can relieve much of the discomfort and pain associated with complex dental treatments.

To allay the fears of those suffering from dental phobia, dentists have used a wide variety of sedatives. These include nitrous oxide (laughing gas), oral sedatives (such as triazolam and diazepam), and IV sedation. Laughing gas and oral sedatives can relieve pain and reduce consciousness during dental treatments, while IV sedation (also known as sleep dentistry) is administered to patients to induce a state of deep relaxation.

A sedation dentist in Philadelphia-such as Thomas DeFinnis, DMD-will use state-of-the-art equipment and procedures to resolve any dental complications, while ensuring that patients stay relaxed and pain-free. Nitrous oxide (N2O) is a colorless, odorless gas that patients can safely inhale. For safe use in a dental setting, N2O needs to be combined with at least 30 percent oxygen (hence the term N2O-O2), though a more common combination is 70 percent oxygen and 30 percent nitrous oxide.

Oral sedatives, on the other hand, produce varied effects, depending on the specific drug. Triazolam is used as an alternative to IV sedation, and can induce anterograde amnesia, or the inability to remember events while under the influence of the drug. Diazepam produces mild levels of amnesia and drowsiness, and will take effect about an hour after it is ingested. The average dose of valium for an adult patient is 5 to 10 mg.

IV (intravenous) sedation, while commonly marketed as ‘sleep dentistry’, can be more accurately described as deep sedation, as patients are induced into a state of deep relaxation without really falling asleep. With so many different options, patients are sure to receive the dental treatments they need without suffering acute pain throughout the procedure.