What is sedation dentistry?
Sedation dentistry offers our patients with general anxiety or fears about a dental procedure the opportunity to have a more comfortable and stress-free experience. By utilizing safe and controlled sedation techniques, the patient is eased into a state of complete relaxation before the procedure. This approach eliminates discomfort, pain, and preoperative anxiety, and typically makes patients feel more at ease post-operatively, as they have little or no memory of the actual moment-to-moment procedure.
Who is a dental anesthesiologist?
Dental anesthesiologists are dentists who have completed an additional minimum of 2 years of clinical residency in dental anesthesiology. Their clinical and didactic training includes hospital operating room anesthesiology rotations, ambulatory anesthesia for dental patients, as well as a range of applications in pain management and behavioral management. Dental anesthesiologists are well equipped to provide sedation for patients with dental fears as well as individual who have difficulty sitting for dental procedures, including patients with special needs and complex medical considerations.
What is the difference between local anesthesia and dental sedation?
Local anesthesia involves an injection directly into or close to the area where a procedure is being performed. While it eliminates any sensation of pain in the targeted area, it does not affect your state of mind or level of anxiety. When a patient receives sedation, additional medications to ease anxiety and promote relaxation are employed in advance of local anesthesia. In this way, both the stress and discomfort associated with a procedure are eliminated. Sedation can be administered in a variety of forms based upon patient needs and the recommendations of the dentist or dental anesthesiologist.
What are the different types of dental sedation?
Choosing the most appropriate method of sedation for a procedure depends on a variety of factors such as a patient’s medical history and their level of anxiety. Dental sedation can come in the form of nitrous oxide sedation, oral conscious sedation, and IV sedation. In certain individual cases, we can provide general anesthesia in a hospital setting.
Nitrous oxide, or “laughing gas,” is a mild sedative, which is inhaled through a small mask over the nose. A standard in dental sedation for decades, the effects of nitrous oxide are almost immediate and wear off quickly once your procedure is completed.
Oral sedation involves the prescription of an oral medication prior to your appointment. Taken at the recommended time before your visit, oral sedation allows you to feel fully relaxed by the time you’re ready for your procedure. With oral sedation, it’s necessary to plan on having an escort to and from your dentist’s office.
IV Sedation is administered intravenously, or directly into a vein. It is typically indicated when a deeper state of sedation is required. Your dentist will provide you with specific instructions before your visit, and require that you have an escort for the trip home from your appointment.