Sedation dentistry is the use of sedation to help patients relax during dental treatment. Sedation dentistry allows patients with dental anxiety to get the dental care they need.
What are the Benefits of Sedation Dentistry?
Sedation dentistry offers many benefits:
- It can help nervous patients relax during uncomfortable procedures.
- It can help patients overcome anxiety and fear so the dentist can complete necessary dental work.
- It can help severely anxious patients who cannot be treated while awake.
- It can help patients who are undergoing multiple procedures during one dental visit.
What are the Different Types of Sedation Dentistry?
The most common sedation dentistry methods are:
The most popular dental sedative is nitrous oxide. This sedative is administered through a mask, and patients inhale the safe gas throughout the procedure. The gas is mixed with oxygen.
Nitrous oxide is a sedative, not an anesthetic. It calms patients but leaves them conscious during procedures. This sedative wears off quickly.
Oral sedation involves taking a pill before your dental appointment. You’ll feel calm, and you won’t remember much about your procedure. Oral sedation is best suited for patients with severe dental anxiety.
With oral sedation, you will need someone to drive you to and from your appointment.
IV sedation uses intravenous medication to sedate a patient. This form of sedation is stronger than oral sedation and produces a deeper state of relaxation. The patient breathes on their own during the procedure, and they generally remain awake. However, their muscles become relaxed. Their blood pressure, heart rate, and temperature are monitored throughout the procedure. Patients typically do not remember anything about the procedure afterward.
General anesthesia (GA) is sedation dentistry on steroids. With this form of sedation, the patient is completely asleep. Patients are monitored closely throughout their procedure and wake up right afterward.
General anesthesia is usually reserved for oral surgery procedures. It is used with patients who are very anxious, have a low pain threshold, or need extensive work done in one sitting. General anesthesia can also be called deep sedation.
Local anesthesia is a numbing medication that is applied to a particular area to completely block sensation from that area. A local anesthetic is administered prior to a dental procedure, such as dental fillings, root canals, and tooth extractions. There are many other types of sedation dentistry available at our clinic; however, local anesthesia is one of the most common.
To learn about our dental procedures, call Desert Mountain Dental at (520) 324-0100 and schedule an appointment or visit our Tucson dental office.