If you suffer from dental anxiety, have had negative experiences at the dental office in the past or feel nervous about your treatment, our dentists may recommend sedation dentistry to help you feel at ease in our office so that you can receive the treatment you need. Sedation dentistry may also be recommended if you have difficulty getting numb or have a sensitive gag reflex.

Sedation dentistry involves using a sedative medication to help you feel relaxed, calm and comfortable. There are several types of sedation available, ranging from mild forms of sedation that simply help you feel relaxed to deeper forms of sedation which put you to sleep for the duration of your treatment. Prior to providing you with dental sedation, our dentists will meet with you to discuss your options. We will review your oral health needs, medical history and treatment options with you. We will also discuss your level of comfort in the dental office. This will help us determine which form of sedation will provide you with the best results.
There are four levels of sedation:

  1. Anxiolysis: A relaxed state also known as "twilight" in which you are awake yet comfortable and responsive to all verbal commands. Assistance with your breathing is never required. No Cardiovascular stress. It is normal to remember the procedure.
  2. Moderate Sedation: A relaxed state in which you may fall asleep but will still be responsive to light tactile stimulation such as a gentle pat on your chest. Requiring some assistance with your breathing is possible but unlikely. There is minimal cardiovascular stress and you may or may not remember parts of the procedure.
  3. Deep Sedation: This is a state of deep relaxation during which you will be asleep and will only respond to a repetitive and painful stimulation such as a harsh rub on your chest or slap on the cheek. Most people breathe on their own although others may require some type of assistance with their breathing. There may be mild cardiovascular stress. It is unlikely that the patient will remember the procedure.
  4. General Anesthesia: A very deep state of relaxation. In fact, you will be asleep and will not even respond to painful stimulation. This type of anesthesia is so strong that oxygen us usually administered during your treatment. There is a chance of moderate cardiovascular stress and you will not remember any part of the procedure.

Regardless of which type of sedation you receive, our dentists and team will monitor you closely during your visit to ensure that you are safe and comfortable. We may also provide you with instructions on how to prepare to receive sedation or what you should do after an appointment where you received sedation dentistry. For example, some forms of sedation dentistry require you to have someone available to drive you to and from your appointment.
If you have any questions about sedation dentistry or would like to schedule a consultation with our dentists, please contact our office today.