To answer the question of why we offer sedation dentistry we would like to provide some background information. For the younger audience, this will be a history lesson, but for the older audience, it may be a past we would all prefer to forget.
In the days prior to the 1908s, whether you had a tooth pulled or a cavity filled, there was no pain killer, no novocaine, no anesthesia. You had to just handle the pain. We have graduated from those times and are now in the era of painless dentistry. This brings us to sedation dentistry.
What Is Sedation Dentistry?
Sedation dentistry has four levels; minimal sedation, moderate sedation, deep sedation, and general anesthesia. So which level is used for what?
If you are simply anxious about going to the dentist and having a procedure performed, then minimal sedation is what you would need. With minimal sedation, you are relaxed but you are fully awake. Minimal sedation is typically administered either in a gas form or orally.
When administered as a gas you breathe in nitrous oxide (laughing gas) through a mask. You are fully awake, can communicate with us, but are completely relaxed. The oral method is a mild tranquilizer. This can also be used for moderate sedation by simply increasing the dose.
As mentioned, moderate sedation can be accomplished orally, but for lengthy procedures is generally accomplished by IV administration. The medication is put in the IV. The advantage is that we can constantly monitor and adjust the level of the sedation.
Deep sedation and general anesthesia are given for extremely long procedures or people that won't be able to sit still, or who have a gag reflex that may cause problems. With deep sedation, you are almost unconscious. With general anesthesia, it is the same as having surgery in a hospital; you are completely unconscious.
If you think you will need sedation dentistry, contact us. We will go over your dental problem, your reason for wanting sedation, and your medical history to determine the best course of action and the correct sedation drug to use.