calm at the dentistSedation is all the rage right now when it comes to dental work. No one likes dental pain and the advances in dentistry no longer require it. There are four different levels of sedation that can help you find the right level of comfort you need to totally relax in the dental chair.

  • Minimal sedation: still awake, but in a relaxed state. The most common form of minimal sedation is nitrous oxide or “laughing gas”. This is generally the only form of sedation you can use and then still drive home.
  • Moderate sedation: conscious and able to speak, but very relaxed. Some patients slur their words when talking and others don’t even remember much of the procedure.
  • Deep sedation: lightly asleep, or on the edge of consciousness. The dentist is still able to wake you and doesn’t require observation as you slowly come back to consciousness.
  • General Anesthesia: completely unconscious and what most people think of what they think of sedation.

While sedation is not necessary for every patient, there are five main reasons it is helpful.

  1. Fear and/or Pain. If you or someone in your household has suffered from a traumatic dental experience, it’s hard to come back for another procedure. Instead of letting the problem get worse, opt for sedation to help with relaxation. All worries and there is no pain during the work.
  2. Can’t Hold Still. Some adults and children struggle to hold still even long enough to fill a cavity. Whether it’s Parkinsons Disease, ADHD, autism, or just lack of an attention span, sedation helps relax and immobilize the patient. The level of sedation required will depend on the abilities of the patient, but it makes the work easier for everyone involved.
  3. Want to Respond. For three of the four levels of sedation, you can respond to our staff. Many people like the idea of sedation during the procedures, but worry about going totally under anesthesia. There is less down time using the other three levels but you still get the relaxed state.
  4. Sensitive Reactions. There are two problematic reaction that come up in dentistry while doing work; sensitive teeth and an overactive gag reflex. Sedation is a great way to knock both problems out. While mild relaxation can help alleviate symptoms, both are completely avoided in a light sleep state.
  5. Faster Work. If you need the work done faster, sedation may be the answer. We can work faster when sensitive reactions are avoided, but it also helps to have the patient relaxed and not stressed or moving a lot.

While sedation may not be ideal for every patient, it is something that we recommend for any of the reasons listed above. Your dental health is such a priority to us since it affects to many different areas of overall well-being. If you are worried about the cost of sedation, chances are it is more affordable than you think. Come in and ask if sedation is right for you.