Despite all our efforts, some patients cannot control their anxiety and need extra assistance to face a visit to the dentist. For these patients we offer Sedation, which involves either the injection of a drug into the arm or hand (IV Sedation) or in the form of a liquid which is taken orally (Oral Sedation)., which helps the patient to relax. Once the patient returns home, the visit is usually forgotten. This is very safe and pleasant procedure.
If you are going to have a dental procedure done for you that you anticipate would otherwise be painful or stressful, sedation may be the best thing for you. Conscious sedation differs from general anesthesia that you receive in the hospital in some important ways. Under general anesthesia, you are totally unconscious. This means that your protective reflexes (such as coughing to clear your airway, for example) are not functional and vital functions have to be supported artificially. With sedation, however since you are still conscious , all of your protective reflexes are functional. This permits it to be done safely in an office setting. However, you are so sleepy and relaxed that you are indifferent to the dental treatment. Your memory of treatment is usually poor so this helps you not to remember unpleasant treatments .
Why do I need anesthesia at the dental office?
To make your dental visit as comfortable as possible, your dentist may suggest anesthesia to reduce or eliminate any pain or anxiety that may be related to your dental treatment. The type of anesthesia required for any dental procedure depends on the needs or preferences of the patient.
How do I know if I’m a candidate for dental anesthesia?
You and your dentist will decide what level of anesthesia is right for you. Some patients prefer a higher level of anesthesia than others. Children, people with special needs, such as mental retardation, and those with a condition, such as a dental phobia may require a higher level of anesthesia. The type of anesthesia administered by your dentist is more dependent on individual patient preferences than specific dental procedures.
What are the levels of dental anesthesia?
Local anesthesia is produced by the application or injection of a drug to eliminate pain in a specific area in the mouth. Topical anesthetics are frequently used by your dentist to numb an area in preparation for administering an injectable local anesthetic. Injectable local anesthetics, such as Lidocaine, numb mouth tissues in a specific area of your mouth for a short period of time. Your dentist will probably inject a local anesthetic before filling cavities, preparing your teeth for crowns, or for any surgical procedure. Local anesthesia is the most commonly used form of anesthesia in the dental office.
Conscious sedation can be used to help you relax during a dental procedure. Your dentist may administer an anti-anxiety agent, such as nitrous oxide, or a sedative, in combination with a local anesthetic for pain. During conscious sedation, you will remain calm during treatment, yet rational and responsive to speech and touch. Anti-anxiety agents and sedatives can be administered by mouth, inhalation or injection.
Deep sedation and general anesthesia is used for complex procedures and for patients who have trouble controlling their movements or need a deeper level of anesthesia during treatment. During deep sedation you will be unable to respond appropriately to verbal commands. During general anesthesia you will be unconscious.