Sedation dentistry is sometimes referred to as sleep dentistry, although most levels of sedation do not invoke actual sleep. It involves the use of medication to help anxious patients relax in the dentist’s chair. Regardless of the type of sedation, a local anesthetic will numb the area to ensure you are comfortable and pain-free throughout any dental treatment.
Sedation dentistry is highly recommended for patients with dental phobia, a real fear or anxiety about going to the dentist and getting needed dental care. It’s also beneficial to patients with past traumatic dental experiences, those who wait until their pain is unbearable before setting foot into a dentist’s office, and those who refuse to get routine dental care.
Sedation dentistry is helpful to patients with sensitive teeth, a low pain tolerance, a bad gag reflex, difficulty getting numb, or complex dental problems. Children who can’t sit still for long, patients with special physical or behavioral needs, and those requiring extensive dental work completed are also excellent candidates for dental sedation.
Nitrous oxide is a mild or minimal form of conscious sedation that involves administering nitrous oxide and oxygen through a mask, allowing us to adjust intake as necessary. Patients feel relaxed and comfortable throughout treatment but remain fully awake and responsive to directions. Once the treatment is completed and we remove the mask, the effects of nitrous oxide sedation wear off completely, allowing you to continue your daily activities right away.
Oral sedation is a conscious form of sedation that is helpful to patients with moderate levels of dental anxiety or phobia. It involves taking a sedative in pill form before a dental procedure, which helps you feel incredibly relaxed, even though you’ll remain awake and responsive. The best part is that you will not remember much about your procedure. The effects of oral sedation may linger for the rest of the day, so make sure to have a friend or family member drive you home after treatment.
Intravenous or IV sedation is a stronger form of sedation that involves administering medication directly into the bloodstream. We can adjust the level of sedation throughout treatment, depending on your needs. IV sedation will invoke a sleep-like state, and you’ll feel incredibly relaxed during your procedures, but you’ll still be responsive to verbal commands. Most patients report no recollection of receiving treatment. IV sedation requires some recovery time as the medication wears off, so make sure you have a trusted adult drive you home and wait until the next day before resuming your normal activities.
Sedation dentistry is considered very safe when administered by a trained and experienced dental professional. At Austin Cosmetic & Implant Dentistry, we have rigorous training that exceeds the recommended requirements, and we follow all recommended safety protocols.
Visit Austin Cosmetic & Implant Dentistry to learn more about our sedation dentistry options. If you’re fearful about visiting the dentist, make sure to let us know. Dr. Madeleine and her team will spare no effort to ensure your time with us is one you’ll enjoy again and again. Contact our Dripping Springs office to schedule your appointment today!