What Are the Different Dental Sedation Options?

Many sedation options exist to make dental work pain and anxiety free.

Sedation Dentistry St Louis

Many people cringe at the mere thought of having dental work done. The good news is that if you do have to have treatment, it doesn’t have to be a traumatic and painful experience. There are ways to minimize the pain, and you can sit back and relax in the chair while your teeth are being repaired.

Many sedation options exist to make dental work pain and anxiety free. The key is to know what your options are and to choose which one is right for your procedure and your comfort level.

Dental Sedation Options

When dentists use sedation to help curb pain and anxiety during dental treatments, they use medications that allow their patients to relax. While it’s commonly referred to as “sleep dentistry,” in most instances it doesn’t actually put the client to sleep; generally, the patient is completely awake. The only time that a patient is put to sleep is if they decide to use general anesthesia. There are four different levels of dental sedation: minimal, moderate or conscious sedation, deep sedation, and general anesthesia.

Inhaled Sedation

The minimum level of dental sedation is breathing in nitrous oxide, also known as “laughing gas.” Nitrous oxide is mixed with oxygen, and it flows through a mask that is placed over the patient’s mouth and nose. The dentist controls the amount of gas that the patient receives, and you are typically able to drive yourself home after the procedure is over.

Oral Sedation

Oral sedation can be either minimal or moderate. Patients who use oral sedation take a pill. The most common type of medication is Halcion, which is taken before the procedure. The medication makes the patient drowsy, but they are still awake. For more moderate sedation, the dose may be increased. It is usually enough to allow patients to sleep through the procedure, but will still be alert enough to awaken with a little nudge.

IV Moderate Sedation

IV moderate sedation is given via IV and goes directly into the vein. It takes effect more rapidly, and the dentist is able to adjust the level and the amount of sedation.

General Anesthesia and Deep Sedation

For heavy sedation, anesthesia makes the patient completely unconscious. The patient will not be capable of waking up during the procedure. The medicine has to either wear off on its own, or other medication needs to be administered to reverse the effects of the sedation.

The good news is that if you are having a dental procedure, you don’t have to suffer. Depending on what you are having done, the right sedation method can allow you to sit back and relax. Your dentist can discuss the pros and cons of sedation and help you come up with an effective sedation method with minimal side effects and maximum comfort.

St. Louis Sleep Sedation Dentistry

We are the Only Board Certified Dental Anesthesiologists in the State of Missouri, including the St. Louis Metro Area. Call us today to schedule your appointment at (314) 862-7844. We look forward to meeting you!

Updated: March 25, 2022

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