Many people have an intense fear of visiting the dentist’s office. They tend to avoid needed dental care because the anxiety of a visit is so strong. In the past, this fear was minimized and misunderstood. Today, sedation dentistry provides a way to reduce the anxiety of dental procedures by using medications for sedation. At Lovett Dental North Heights, we offer compassionate sedation dentistry.

How Does Sedation Dentistry Work?

woman benefiting from sedation dentistry In the simplest terms, they give you a sedative before they perform any specialty dental procedures. The sedation used will depend on the procedure and your level of anxiety. Most procedures are done with conscious sedation. You will be relaxed but still aware of your surroundings. This also allows the sedation to wear off quickly after the procedure so that you can get on with your day. There are different levels of conscious sedation and general anesthesia.

The types of sedation used for sedation dentistry services include:

  • Minimal sedation, where you are fully aware but relaxed.
  • Moderate sedation, meaning you are still conscious but not well aware of your surroundings, and your memory of the procedure will be hazy.
  • Deep sedation, which means you are in a sleeplike state but can be easily awakened.
  • General anesthesia means you are fully unconscious for the procedure.

Minimal Sedation

Inhaled sedation is the lightest form of sedation dentistry. A sedation dentist will use nitrous oxide gas. You breathe the gas through a mask. You will feel floaty and very relaxed. The dentist can control how sedated you become with the amount of gas used. This form wears off quickly, so it will allow you to drive yourself home. They often use this for routine sedation dentistry services, including cleanings or fillings.

Moderate and Deep Sedation

Sedation dentists often use moderate and deep sedation for severe anxiety or more invasive dental procedures. Wisdom or impacted tooth extractions may require moderate sedation. Moderate sedation doesn’t cause unconsciousness, but you may fall asleep during the procedure. You will need someone to drive you home after the procedure.

Oral sedation is typically done with benzodiazepines. They are administered, usually 30 minutes to an hour before a procedure. The dentist can adjust the level of sedation with a larger or smaller dosage. They can also combine inhaled sedation with oral sedation. Most dentists can administer minimal or moderate oral sedation.

An oral surgeon or a dental anesthesiologist must perform deep and general sedation. The sedation dentist can provide sedation with intravenous medication. This is usually deep sedation, but it can be used for moderate sedation as well. The medication takes effect very quickly and can be adjusted during the procedure. They can use deep sedation for minor surgical procedures.

With general anesthesia, you will be unconscious during the procedure. You won’t be easily aroused until the medication wears off. It is typically administered through an IV. General anesthesia is only necessary for major surgical procedures. These procedures are generally unpleasant or painful if you are conscious. Performing the procedure while unconscious means that you feel no pain and have no memory of the procedure itself.

What to Expect When Visiting a Sedation Dentist

When you visit a sedation dentist, they will talk with you about your history, health, and anxiety about dental procedures. They will then discuss the procedures that you need and the level of sedation generally used. It’s very important to inform the sedation dentist of any health concerns because this can affect sedation. You should also tell them if you are difficult to sedate or have had an adverse reaction to sedative medications in the past.

Sedation Dentistry at Lovett Dental North Heights

If you need sedation dentistry, then look to Lovett Dental North Heights. We have a team of dental professionals to meet all your dental needs. We use sedation dentistry to make your visit comfortable and peaceful. Going to the dentist doesn’t have to be a traumatic experience. Let us show you how easy it can be with sedation dentistry. Contact us today at 832.626.2153.