Conscious sedation is the preferred method for patients with dental anxiety or multiple lengthy procedures. Coupled with advanced local anesthetic methods, a patient can receive comprehensive dentistry in a comfortable and relaxing state. Since conscious sedation can be tailored to the individual’s dental needs, multiple procedures can be completed during one long visit, reducing the stress and inconvenience of multiple short visits.
Sedation Dentistry, sometimes called “relaxation dentistry”, refers to the way dentists manage pain and anxiety during dental appointments. Unlike general anesthesia where a patient is completely unconscious (asleep), and unable to respond, patients under conscious sedation, are able to respond to commands and breathe on their own. There are two primary ways that conscience sedation is administered in our dental office: inhalation and enteral.
Enteral conscious sedation (orally administered sedation), is administered by taking a pill. The patient will experience a state of very deep relaxation, sometimes falling asleep. They are aware of what is going on around them, can answer when spoken to, and move or adjust if need be, but when it is all said and done, the patient will usually have little recall of the dental experience (amnesia). Recovery time is a lot faster than general anesthesia, and typically lasts 30-45 minutes after the procedure is complete, at which time, the patient can be released.
Inhalation conscious sedation (nitrous oxide/oxygen sedation) also known as “laughing gas”. This is the most frequently used sedation method used in dentistry. All bodily functions remain normal and the patient will experience a state of relaxation, and may have a slight degree of amnesia about what happened during their dental appointment. Inhalation sedation has been used in dentists for many years, it is completely safe and represents the ideal means of making the dental care treatment virtually pain free.
If you are one who has put off a visit to the dentist for a long time, or whose schedule simply will not accommodate multiple visits, you may wish to consider conscious sedation dentistry.