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We understand that children and adults may be nervous to go to the dentist. At Tricoast Dental, we offer sedation dentistry to patients who experience dental anxiety, have sensitive teeth or extensive dental needs. For a relaxing experience at the dentist, contact us today to make your appointment!
What is Sedation Dentistry?
Sedation dentistry is a safe technique that consists of various medications aimed to reduce anxiety and make you feel relaxed. The goal is to keep you conscious and responsive during treatment, but without your usual dental phobia getting in the way. The different levels of sedation available include:
With minimal sedation, you remain awake and aware of what is happening around you, but you should feel more relaxed. This option is ideal for patients with just a touch of anxiety. Usually, minimal sedation is achieved with nitrous oxide gas (“laughing gas”).
Moderate sedation is achieved with medication given to you by the dentist to take orally. Sometimes, nitrous oxide gas is also added. You generally do not fall unconscious, but you may feel “foggy” during the procedure or may not experience or remember very much. This level of sedation requires you to bring a driver with you to your appointment.
Deep sedation is administered in a surgical facility. It is generally reserved for certain extensive procedures (such as surgical wisdom teeth extractions), young children who are unable to cooperate under minimal/moderate sedation, and adult patients with extreme dental phobia or certain disabilities.
How Does Sedation Work?
INHALED MINIMAL SEDATIONYou’ve probably heard stories about laughing gas. Laughing gas, better known as inhaled minimal sedation, is nitrous oxide combined with oxygen. Your dentist or dental assistant administers the gas through a mask placed over your nose. The gas helps you relax during the procedure. If the gas starts to wear off, the dentist can safely administer more. Since it wears off so quickly, you should be able to drive after the procedure.
ORAL SEDATIONOral sedation comes in the form of a pill. Depending on the medication you receive, this sedation will vary anywhere between minimal to moderate. The pill works in approximately one hour, making you feel groggy. You might start to doze off or fall completely asleep with oral sedation.
DEEP SEDATIONThis is a Class IV anesthesia that allows you to go under during the procedure as if you’re in a deep sleep. Patients under deep sedation often wake up in disbelief that the procedure happened since the time passes so quickly. You will have no memory of the procedure, even after the sedation wears off.
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