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Sedation Dentistry

San Diego Sedation Dentistry

Different people react differently to dental procedures. While others are totally okay with being in the dentist’s office, some people shiver just at the thought of setting an appointment with their dentist. Fortunately for the latter, there is always sedation dentistry.

What is Sedation Dentistry?

Sedation dentistry is the practice of using medication to help ease patients who will undergo dental procedures. Sedation comes in different forms, and can be used for most every type of procedure, from simple teeth cleaning to other oral maxillofacial surgeries, such as wisdom tooth extraction.

There are different levels of sedation to match the needs of specific dental procedures:

  • Minimal sedation: Patients who are given minimal sedation are awake during the procedure; they are also aware of what’s happening, but they are completely at ease.
  • Moderate or conscious sedation: With moderate sedation, patients are awake, but mostly unaware of the procedure. They have no memory of it. Slight slurring of speech can occur.
  • Deep sedation: Patients who are deeply sedated are described as being ‘on the edge’ of consciousness. They can still be awakened while the sedative is in effect.
  • General anesthesia: Patients undergoing general anesthesia are completely unconscious throughout the duration of the procedure. Its effects – especially grogginess – can still be felt after the operation.

Types of Sedation

Different types of sedatives are used for different purposes. Some types are stronger than others, and have longer after-effects.

  • Inhaled sedation: Inhaled sedation uses a combination of nitrous oxide (more popularly known as ‘laughing gas’ or ‘happy gas’) and oxygen administered through a breathing mask. Of all types of components used in sedation dentistrythe laughing gas kind is the safest. If your laughing gas sedation was administered by well-trained professionals, there should not be any adverse effects. There are no contraindications – except for people who have troubles breathing through the nose because of colds or have chronic emphysema. It is the safest choice of sedation for people who suffer from conditions such as epilepsy, heart problems, and diabetes, among others. Inhaled sedation wears off quickly, and has no lingering effects. Unlike stronger sedatives such as oral or IV sedatives, laughing gas sedation will not make patients feel wobbly or groggy when it wears off. In fact, patients can drive after getting inhaled sedation.
  • Oral sedation: Oral sedation uses pills such as Halcion and can make patients feel drowsy. Patients can still be awakened with minimal effort, such as with light shaking.
  • IV Moderate sedation: The medication is administered directly through the veins.
  • Deep sedation and general anesthesia: General anesthetics and drugs used for deep sedation cause the patients to fall into a deep sleep. They can only wake up when the anesthesia wears off completely. Patients feel groggy upon waking up from deep sedation, and walking, speaking, and other functions may feel weird for about an hour or so after waking up. Patients have to be driven to and from the clinic.

Irresistible Smiles: Trusted in Safe and Effective San Diego Sedation Dentistry

Want to know more about your safest options on sedation dentistry? Call our San Diego dental experts at (858) 755-8993, Chula Vista at (619) 656-6785 and San Marcos at (750) 798-1768 clinics to inquire about our inhaled sedation procedures or other dental care services.