Do you actively avoid dental treatment because you are afraid or anxious? Does the mere thought of seeing a dentist cause you to feel incredible fear?
If so, Sedation Dentistry may be for you. Remember, the longer you neglect needed dental care, the worse those dental problems become, and in some instances, you can suffer general health problems due to poor dental health. There are many benefits of Sedation Dentistry. You can have a lot of dentistry done at the same time. Often dentistry that has been neglected for years, can be done in one or two visits with Sedation Dentistry. It is safe since the amount of medications can be controlled more precisely through an IV. Since you are never actually asleep, you can still communicate with us, your breathing is not affected and your protective reflexes are still intact.
We offer three levels of sedation in our office to control dental anxiety.
- Minimal Sedation: Nitrous oxide is given through a nose piece that delivers nitrous oxide, a colorless, tasteless gas, frequently called “laughing gas”, that can provide a mild form of sedation and relaxation. All of your reflexes are intact, breathing is not affected, and you recover immediately once the gas is removed. This level is frequently called anxiolysis.
- Moderate or Conscious Sedation: In this form of sedation Valium and/or its derivatives are administered both orally and sublingually (under the tongue) to provide a deeper level of sedation/relaxation. Your reflexes are still intact, breathing is generally not affected, but you cannot drive home alone. While this form of sedation provides more relaxation, the medication takes a while to wear off and you will need to be accompanied by someone to drive you home.
- IV Sedation: In this form of sedation a more controlled and deeper level of relaxation can be accomplished since the medication is given through a vein. While this is frequently referred to as sleep dentistry, you do not actually go to sleep which is what general anesthesia is. The old term twilight is a much better description since you will feel sleepy/groggy but your protective reflexes are still intact and you can still speak and answer simple questions. Often times, you may also not remember the actual work that was done so there are no unpleasant memories. With IV Sedation, you will also require someone to drive you home.
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