Types of Sedation Dentistry

Types of Sedation Dentistry

June 1, 2020

Here at Wynnewood Dental Arts, one thing that sets us apart from other practices is our experience in sedation dentistry. We understand that there’s a stigma of fear when it comes to a visit to the dentist’s office, and we utilize the method to help combat all those butterflies floating around in your stomach.

But what exactly is sedation dentistry? Must be some kind of dark magic or voodoo…right?

Actually, it’s a pretty standard practice used to help patients who fear the dentist. It involves a mixture of typical tools of the trade, and is broken down into tiers—depending on how nervous the patient is, or how extensive the procedure will be. When undergoing a procedure with us, you can rest assured knowing that we’ve been administering sedation dentistry for over 18 years. We even have an anesthesiologist on the team to help out in certain cases.

The topic of sedation dentistry certainly doesn’t put us to sleep, so we want to share some facts that we think you’ll find interesting, especially if you’re nervous about paying us a visit.

What Happens When You’re Sedated?

That depends on what method of sedation we use, but in most cases you won’t be asleep. You’ll be able to respond and react to basic questions, such as opening your mouth wide, or turning your body slightly. You’ll be very relaxed, and devoid of any nervousness, though. You’ll still be able to breathe on your own. In some cases, you will be completely unconscious, but that’s rare.

Here are the common sedation practices used:

Local Anesthesia

Local anesthesia is commonly used in conjunction with other sedation techniques that don’t eliminate pain on their own. For example, IV sedation will relax you, but it won’t make the pain go away. That’s where the local anesthesia comes in. It’s a method where numbing medicine is applied to the area that needs to be devoid of pain or feeling.

Minimal Sedation

The methods that fall under this category are the most common practices used in sedation dentistry. One popular technique is nitrous oxide, or laughing gas. There’s also the option for oral medications, or some combination of the two.

Moderate Sedation

Much like with minimal sedation, patients who undergo this next level up will not be asleep during their procedures. They’ll also still be able to respond, move and breathe on their own. IVs are used for moderate sedation, and since they go straight into your bloodstream, effects set on quickly. IVs also allow doctors to easily control sedation levels.

General Anesthesia

Hey, who turned out the lights? When patients undergo general anesthesia, consciousness and response will be minimal, if at all possible. Breathing assistance will also likely be needed. In the rare event that we need to put you under general anesthesia, we bring our anesthesiologist in to ensure that you’re in extremely experienced and safe hands.

Trust us, you’re not alone in your fears when you avoid going to the dentist. But we can assure you that our pervasive experience with administering sedation dentistry means there’s nothing to be worried about. Your visit will be relaxing and pain-free—we can assure you of that. Get in touch with our office to learn more about sedation dentistry, and to schedule an appointment.

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