About Sedation Dentistry
For some people, a trip to the dentist’s office produces a significant and uncontrollable amount of anxiety. If this is you, you don’t have to let phobias stand in the way of getting the regular oral care and treatment you need to keep your mouth healthy and your smile beautiful. Sedation dentistry can ensure your experience in the dentist chair is comfortable and stress-free.
What Is Sedation Dentistry?
Sedation dentistry utilizes various medications to relax patients during dental checkups and procedures. It is also sometimes referred to as “sleep dentistry,” however, that is a bit of a misnomer, because most often, patients remain awake during treatment unless they have been put under general anesthesia. There are various levels of sedation used to keep patients comfortable, and they range in degrees of sedation.
Minimal sedation simply relaxes the patient, while a patient who undergoes moderate sedation might slur their words when speaking and may not remember the procedure at all. Under deep sedation, the patient is brought to the edge of consciousness but can be awoken if necessary.
Types of Sedation Dentistry
There are various methods used to sedate patients during dental procedures. Inhaled minimal sedation, also known as “laughing gas,” is a combination of nitrous oxide and oxygen that simply helps you relax.
The gas is inhaled through a mask, which is placed over the nose, and your dentist can adjust the amount of gas you receive. This form of sedation wears off quite quickly, which means that it is safe for you to drive yourself home. Oral sedation is another option, and can produce mild to moderate levels of sedation depending on the dose. Oral sedation is administered in pill form and is typically Halcion, which is in the same pharmaceutical family as Valium. The pill is taken about an hour before the procedure and produces moderate drowsiness though most patients will still remain awake. Oral sedation can cause some patients to fall asleep during their dental procedure, but they can be easily awakened with a shake.
IV sedation produces moderate effects as well and is administered through an IV in the arm. This form of sedation allows the drugs to be administered more quickly than the pill form, and the dentist can adjust the amount as needed during the procedure.
Sedation dentistry is safe for most patients. However, patients with obesity or sleep apnea should talk to their dentist beforehand to determine if the procedure is right for them.
Trust the Hallock Family Dental Team
At Hallock Family Dental, we want to partner with you to achieve your optimal oral health, and if anxieties are preventing you from getting the care you need, we can help. We strive to keep our patients as comfortable as possible, and we do not charge our patients for nitro gas if they require it during one of our services.
If you are a new patient, we make it easy for you to fill out your new patient paperwork online, and scheduling your appointment with us is simple and convenient—just give us a call at our Allen office or McKinney office. Let the team at Hallock Family Dental take care of your family’s dental needs today.