While new-age dental diagnostics and technologies allow for comfortable cleanings and procedures, many individuals continue to fear going to the dentist. Unfortunately, they end up avoiding the dentist altogether, and this leads to painful oral health problems that ultimately require more invasive therapies. Thus, as a way to encourage patients to visit their dentist regularly and commit to better oral care, dental providers utilize varying levels of sedation dentistry. Sometimes referred to as “sleep dentistry,” sedation dentistry uses medication to soothe and relax patients in the dental chair.
WebMD discusses the different levels of sedation dentistry. To begin, minimal sedation promotes deep relaxation, while patients remain awake and alert. This is the only level of sedation in which patients can safely drive themselves home. The next level, conscious sedation, provides moderate relaxation. As a result, patients may slur their words, and they might not remember much about their procedure. In turn, deep sedation places patients on the edge of consciousness, while those receiving general anesthesia are completely unconscious during treatment.
Perhaps you’re wondering—what type of medication is used in sedation dentistry, and how is it administered? First, minimal sedation typically involves inhaling nitrous oxide through a mask placed over the nose, which many dentists refer to as “laughing gas.” Best for patients with milder forms of dental anxiety, the effects of nitrous oxide wears off quickly. On the other hand, drugs such as Halcion and Valium are considered oral sedatives that provide moderate sedation. These are typically taken one hour prior to treatment. For those with severe anxiety and/or those requiring complex dental procedures, moderate to deep sedation is delivered through an IV. Additionally, patients will receive a local anesthetic at the site of treatment to reduce discomfort in the days following their procedure.
Sail Through Your Next Dental Visit With Sedation Dentistry
As a trusted dental provider in East Cobb and Marietta, Dr. Leia Porcaro leads Grateful Dental with a commitment to preventative dentistry. This means that a high value is placed upon regular dental visits and preventing painful oral health conditions before they occur. For some, Dr. Porcaro realizes that sedation dentistry is the only way to help them sail through dental visits with ease. Therefore, she is proud to offer patients options in sedation to help them receive the treatment that they need and deserve.
Call Grateful Dental today to schedule your appointment.