What You Need to Know About Sedation Dentistry
When you schedule an appointment with us, let us know if you have dental anxiety so that we can prepare for your visit accordingly. For many people, the actual procedure is not uncomfortable but it is the anxiety and worry that causes angst. With this in mind, we often prescribe an oral sedative or laughing gas that can be administered prior to the appointment to help a person relax. While this is not a pain killer, it eases the fear and relaxes the body so that you can remain peaceful while having teeth cleaned, or dental work performed. While the dosage is different, laughing gas can be used on both children and adults so that all of our Simi Valley patients can remain comfortable.
Types of Sedation Dentistry
There are various levels and types of sedation. During your consultation, we will discuss the recommended procedure with you along with any anxieties you may have. At that time, a recommendation will be made for the type of sedation you may want to consider. The ultimate decision is up to you based on how you believe you will handle the procedure. In many cases, our patients simply need to relax and prefer to use laughing gas in order to do so. It is quick, effective, and wears off when the procedure is finished without impairing any other bodily functions. Some patients use this to relax when getting their teeth cleaned since there is no actual pain associated with the treatment.
When a cavity is being treated or other minor dental work performed, patients may prefer to use a combination of laughing gas and localized pain medication. After numbing the surface of the gums, we can inject pain medication that numbs the area that is being worked on. As a sedation dentist, this is an effective tool for us to prevent and eliminate any discomfort. We can administer as much medication as is necessary throughout the course of the treatment, and only that specific area will remain numb. The benefit of this type of sedation is how localized it is. For example, if a cavity is being treated on one side of the mouth, the other side will remain fully functional. This way you can eat immediately after the treatment while the numbing effect wears off the other side.
If a more intensive procedure is required, patients may prefer IV medication for a more thorough effect. When sedation is administered through this means the numbing effect is more pervasive and not confined to that one specific area of the mouth. It is extremely effective and as a sedation dentist, we find that many of our patients request this type of medication because they want to ensure that they do not feel anything while having dental work performed. If this is the case, the effect can still wear off fairly quickly after the treatment is over, but we do recommend having a friend or family member drive you home just in case.
For those needing oral surgery, total sedation may be necessary or preferable. This is often referred to as sleep dentistry because a patient is put to sleep and will not remember anything from the procedure. As a sedation dentist, we find that this is an excellent solution when a patient is getting a full smile makeover. When the majority of teeth are being worked on, the procedure can take a significant amount of time. We need to do dental work with precision and that requires not rushing through the procedure. With that in mind, our Simi Valley patients may find it difficult to hold still when the treatment lasts longer than an hour or two. Going to sleep is a much better option because your body will naturally remain still, you will feel comfortable and not remember what took place during the treatment. If this is your preferred method of sedation dentistry, we will monitor you carefully during the treatment and afterwards to ensure that the anesthesia wears off like it should. You will also need to have someone drive you home and may feel slightly sluggish for the remainder of the day. These types of procedures typically call for rest and relaxation anyway, so take it easy at home before resuming normal activity the next day.