If you avoid the dentist until you have five cavities, it’s time to make dentistry painless! Sedation dentistry can help you show up to your regular appointments.
Sometimes, your hesitation about visiting your dentist doesn’t even involve dental anxiety. It could be fear of pain, tooth sensitivity, or overwhelming past experiences holding you back.
However, preventing proper dental care will only make matters worse. When you visit Irresistible Smiles, Dr. Safarian will show you a better way with sedation dentistry.
What is Sedation Dentistry?
Our dentist uses sedation dentistry to help patients relax. Commonly referred to as “sleep dentistry,” sedation dentistry guides patients into drowsiness.
In reality, it has different levels of effectiveness. If you’re interested, we encourage you to speak to Dr. Safarian about your options. Different methods and medication types are available to ensure your comfort.
As the name suggests, minimal sedation is the least aggressive type of sleep dentistry. One of the common types of minimal sedation is using an anxiety pill. This anxiety pill calms the patient by increasing drowsiness. When we give the pill, usually Halcion, the patient feels relief in the 30 minutes before the procedure.
Another type of minimal sedation is laughing gas, where the patient inhales nitrous oxide. During this process, patients receive a small amount of the drug to feel happy and relaxed. With a short-term lifespan, patients can take nitrous oxide then drive themselves home afterward. With laughing gas, patients feel warm and happy while experiencing no pain.
Like the minimal sedation method, we often use pills to aid relaxation with moderate sedation. For this treatment, we will give the patient a larger dose of medication. During moderate sedation, the patient will sometimes fall asleep due to drowsiness. However, this is not a deep sleep and we can easily wake the patient.
When patients receive moderate sedation dentistry, we require a separate driver present. Though the effects of the sedative wear off by the next morning, it is unsafe to drive oneself home post-procedure.
Deep Sedation and General Anesthesia
Whether you’re having a larger operation or you need stronger medication for anxiety, we have other options. With deep sedation, we administer general anesthesia so you’re almost or entirely unconscious.
While you are under anesthesia, you will sleep until the medication wears off. If need be, we may also awaken you from deep sedation with other medication.
We provide deep sedation with intravenous (IV) fluid. When we hook up the IV, patients fall asleep within two to three minutes. With deep sedation, we also require a driver to take you home after your dentistry appointment.