Conscious Sedation Dentistry

Does the thought of having your teeth cleaned make your entire body tense with fear? Would you rather endure the agony of a toothache than step foot in a dentist’s office? You’re not alone. A lot of people are so phobic about going to the dentist that they prefer not to have any treatment.

For people who avoid dentists like the plague, sedation dentistry at Stellar Dental Care may take away some of their anxiety. Sedation can be used for everything from invasive procedures to a simple tooth cleaning. How it’s used depends on the severity of the fear. Sedation dentistry uses medication to help patients relax during dental procedures.

The levels of sedation used by Stellar Dental Care include:

  • Minimal sedation — you are awake but relaxed.
  • Moderate sedation — you may slur your words when speaking and not remember much of the procedure.
  • Deep sedation — you are on the edge of consciousness but can still be awakened.

What Types of Sedation May Be Used in By Stellar Dental Care?

Inhaled minimal sedation. You breathe nitrous oxide — otherwise known as “laughing gas” — combined with oxygen through a mask that’s placed over your nose. The gas helps you relax. Your dentist can control the amount of sedation you receive, and the gas tends to wear off quickly.

Oral sedation. Depending on the total dose given, oral sedation can range from minimal to moderate. For minimal sedation, you take a pill. Typically, the pill is usually taken about an hour before the procedure. The pill will make you drowsy, although you’ll still be awake. A larger dose may be given to produce moderate sedation. This is the type of anesthesia most commonly associated with sedation dentistry. Some people become groggy enough from moderate oral sedation to actually fall asleep during the procedure. They usually can, though, be awakened with a gentle shake.

Moderate Sedation by Injection. You receive the sedative drug through injection, so it goes to work more quickly. This method allows the dentist to continually adjust the level of sedation.

Regardless of which type of sedation you receive, you’ll also typically need a local anesthetic — numbing medication at the site where the dentist is working in the mouth — to relieve pain if the procedure causes any discomfort.

Who Can Have Sedation?

Sedation is most appropriate for people with a real fear or anxiety that is preventing them from going to the dentist.

Sedation dentistry may also be appropriate for people who:

  • have a low pain threshold
  • can’t sit still in the dentist’s chair
  • have very sensitive teeth
  • have a bad gag reflex
  • need a large amount of dental work completed

Sometimes, children are given sedation if they are terrified of going to the dentist or refuse to cooperate during the visit. Nitrous oxide tends to be safe in children. A smaller percentage of pediatric dentists are trained to give children oral sedation.

Can Any Dentist Perform Sedation?

How Safe Is Sedation Dentistry?

There is always a risk in getting anesthesia. It is usually safe, though, when given by experienced dentists. However, certain people, such as those who are obese or who have obstructive sleep apnea, should consult with their Stellar Dental Professional before having sedation.

At Stellar Dental Care, we have sedation specialists who are specifically trained and qualified to administer the type of sedation you will be receiving.

Before the procedure, your Stellar Dental Sedation Specialist will go over your medical history. I will also be determined whether you are an appropriate candidate for sedation and will ask about any medications you’re currently taking.

Your dentist will carefully monitor your vital signs during the procedure following the appropriate guidelines.