Types Of Sedation Dentistry

woman with laughing gas hood

Did you know that an estimated 60% of people suffer from dental anxiety or dental phobias? Although today's dentists are becoming increasingly gentler and more aware of patient comfort, uncomfortable experiences in the past, sensitivity to light and sound, and even general anxiety can make dental appointments difficult for many. Fortunately, patients of all ages can take advantage of sedation dentistry, specialized medicinal therapy prescribed by dentists, to help make their time in the dental chair productive, painless, and, most importantly, relaxing.

At Allred Dental of San Marcos, CA, experienced sedation dentist, Dr. Jeffrey Allred, will provide a thorough and comprehensive consultation to determine if sedation dentistry is right for you. Along with all other services at Allred Dental, our team takes a complete body health approach to dentistry. This means that we take your entire health history into account, ensuring that the very best decisions are made.

Whether you are just considering sedation dentistry for you or your child, education is key! To learn more about this relaxing service, and to discover if it could be right for you, read on.

What Is Sedation Dentistry?

Sedation dentistry is a medicinal therapy used by dentists to provide calmer, more productive, and more relaxing treatments for patients of all ages. Typically, it is prescribed to patients who suffer from moderate to severe dental-related anxiety, those with special healthcare needs, those with light and sound sensitivities, those who are undergoing long or painful procedures, or small children who have trouble sitting still during treatments.

Responsible dentists examine patients' full health history and conduct comprehensive consultations prior to the sedative being administered. Doing this helps ensure that a healthy level of sedation is selected and that the patient is fully informed prior to their treatment or surgery.

Sedation dentistry can be included in a range of different treatment plans, specifically those that feature restorative treatments (like crowns and root canals), oral surgeries (like wisdom tooth removal and dental implant surgery), and even preventive treatments (like teeth cleanings).

Your dentist will consider both your health history and diagnoses before they build sedation into your treatment plan. During this phase, it's important to ask questions and present any relevant concerns. Top dentists will partner with you to determine what is best for you and your overall health.

Benefits Of Sedation Dentistry

Considering adding sedation to your next dental appointment? It comes with a long list of benefits, including:

  • Stress-free experiences. When given the right level of sedation, you should have a completely stress-free experience in the dentist's chair.
  • More productive appointments. Some multi-appointment procedures can be combined into one when the patient is fully relaxed and/or compliant.
  • Extra support for individuals with special healthcare needs. Some individuals with special healthcare needs experience difficulties in the dental chair. With sedation, they can get the extra support they need to boost both comfort and compliance.
  • Perfect for small children. Many small children find it difficult to sit still during dental appointments. Typically, light sedation will provide the sense of calm they need to sit through a full treatment or procedure.
  • Added comfort for individuals with light and sound sensitivity. Patients with light and sound sensitivity get the same type of relief with sedation that those with dental anxiety do.

Types Of Sedation Dentistry

Sedation dentistry generally comes in four levels: light, moderate, deep, and general anesthesia. It is also available in a variety of forms and is administered in such a way that benefits the patient's needs.

Laughing Gas

Laughing gas is the lightest form of sedation available at dental offices. Used in dentistry for over two centuries, laughing gas is simply a medicated gas designed to be inhaled through a comfortable nasal hood. Patients report experiencing light-headedness or even tingling in the arms or legs. The effects of laughing gas generally wear off within a minute or two of the nasal hood being removed.

Unlike oral conscious sedation and IV sedation, patients experience no "after-effects;" once the procedure is complete, patients can go about their day as they normally would.

hands holding glass of water and two pills

Oral Conscious Sedation

Oral conscious sedation provides a more moderate level of sedation for patients who need extra support while in the dentist's chair. It is typically prescribed ahead of time so that the effects begin the moment treatment starts. Depending on the age and health history of the patient, this medicinal therapy will come in either pill or syrup form.

When patients take oral conscious sedation, they will need to bring a trusted caregiver with them to the appointment, as they will be unable to drive until the effects fully wear off.

IV Sedation

Used to deliver the strongest levels of sedation, IV sedation is recommended for those with severe dental anxiety, those with special healthcare needs, or those undergoing long or painful surgical procedures. With IV sedation, you can expect to be completely relaxed. It can be administered in such a way that the patient falls fully asleep or remembers very little from the procedure.

Like, oral conscious sedation, IV sedation requires patients to bring along a trusted caregiver with them to the dentist's office.

Now that you know all about the powerful advantages of sedation dentistry, it’s time to schedule your appointment with our sedation dentist, Dr. Allred. Remember, at Allred Dental, oral conscious sedation is always FREE with each appointment! Call today to schedule your appointment!

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