Sedation dentistry is a means of providing necessary dental procedures with minimal discomfort. Not every dentist can offer the full range of sedation dentistry methods in Houston, as they require special certifications. Sedation is completely safe. The dentist continually monitors the sedation throughout a procedure to ensure the patient receives only the amount they need.
Who Can Benefit from Sedation Dentistry?
Anyone visiting the dentist, from children to adults, can use sedation. Sedation is the best way to minimize or completely eliminate discomfort while at the dentist. Furthermore, most invasive procedures are performed on adults, and sedation dentistry can take away much of the pain associated with them.
Children who tend to be apprehensive or fearful at the dentist can benefit from sedation dentistry as it also calms them down to a relaxed state. As a result, this allows the dentist to perform a lot more work in a shorter amount of time.
Types of Sedation Dentistry
There are several different forms of sedation dentistry, and they all have varying degrees of effectiveness.
- Conscious Sedation
Dentists can conduct conscious sedation with just about any form of sedation. The purpose is to just dull the senses without putting the patient to sleep. Most forms of conscious sedation include prescription pain medication taken before a procedure, local anesthetics, and light use of nitrous oxide or IV sedation.
- General Anesthetics
Nitrous oxide (laughing gas) is probably the most well known general anesthetic. It reduces discomfort some, but mainly it calms a fearful patient.
- Deep Sedation
IV sedation can bring a patient right to the brink of consciousness and even put them under entirely. Most of the time, it is only to the brink, so a dentist can still give instructions to the patient. Even when fully under, it never takes more than a gentle nudge to awaken a patient. This form of sedation dentistry is often used for invasive surgeries and highly fearful patients.
In conclusion, the goal of sedation dentistry is to make the patient feel relaxed and comfortable. All of the methods described above are perfectly safe. Only certified technicians can administer either nitrous oxide and IV sedation. They will continually monitor and adjust the sedation levels to ensure comfort and safety.