Does the idea of sitting in a dentist chair make your stomach churn, or tempt you to simply avoid dental exams altogether? If so, sedation dentistry might be the way to go. Sedation dentistry uses medication to help patients feel calm and relaxed during anything from a simple dental cleaning to dental surgery. It is occasionally referred to as sleep dentistry. But your ability to sleep will depend on the level of sedation you choose.
There are four levels of sedation
- Inhaled minimal sedation: This type of sedation uses nitrous oxide (also known as laughing gas) combined with oxygen to help you feel relaxed. A mask that releases the gas is placed over your nose during your dental procedure. Your dentist will monitor the amount of gas you inhale throughout the treatment. This basic type of sedation will easily wear off, and in some cases, you’ll be able to drive yourself home when your procedure is complete.
- Oral sedation: This is the more common form of dental sedation because it is quite simple to do. One hour before your dental treatment your dentist will have you take a pill, like Halcion (similar to Valium), to induce drowsiness. Some patients become groggy enough to fall asleep while others remain slightly aware throughout the procedure. Regardless, any sedation is always accompanied by a local anesthetic so you will not feel any pain.
- IV moderate sedation: This form of sedation works very quickly since it is administered through a vein. This form allows your dentist to continually adjust how sedated the patient is.
- Deep sedation and general anesthesia: This type of sedation involves giving you certain medications that will make you either almost or completely unconscious. This form of sedation is difficult to be awakened from until the anesthesia begins to wear off.
Schedule your next dental exam
The best form of dental care is prevention. Be sure you have regular appointments to see your dentist to ensure your teeth are properly cleaned and cared for. Schedule your next visit today by calling 863-682-1500. At Agnini Family Dental, we look forward to answering your questions and addressing your concerns.