Sedation Dentistry Questions

Beverly Hills & Los Angeles, California

 

What is sedation dentistry?
Dr. Kevin Sands uses the technique of sedation dentistry to provide you with a tranquil and anxiety-free experience.

How is sedation induced?
When we induce sedation, we pharmacologically alter your central nervous system in order to calm you. In the past, dentists used intravenous sedation to induce sedation. Not surprisingly, the use of needles tended to make patients more anxious, so now oral sedatives are typically used.

What kinds of drugs are used?

  • Oral sedatives medications, including diazepam, will sedate you but do not reduce pain. A local anesthetic serves this purpose.
  • Nitrous oxide sedation, also known as laughing gas, induces a state of relaxation. Again, nitrous oxide does not relieve pain, but it does sedate the patient.
  • General anesthesia will render you unconscious, so no local anesthetics are needed.

Will I be asleep during sedation dentistry?
That depends. There are four possible levels of sedation dentistry:

  1. Anxiolysis: This is a light sedation or relaxation induced when you inhale nitrous oxide or take oral sedatives. This is the most common form of sedation for dental procedures.
  2. Conscious Sedation: A moderate sedation induced using nitrous oxide, IV, or oral sedatives. You will be awake and responsive but extremely relaxed.
  3. Deep Sedation: Deep sedation places you in an unresponsive state between consciousness and unconsciousness.
  4. Unconsciousness: You become entirely unconscious and need assistance with breathing. This method is usually reserved for oral surgery.

What are the benefits of sedation dentistry? 
Sedation dentistry can make a visit to the dentist seem to last only a few minutes. Many patients compare the experience to an afternoon nap. Discomfort is rarely reported after dental procedures where the patients are sedated.

Who needs sedation dentistry?
Let's face it; it's pretty common to fear visiting the dentist. Many patients avoid their dentist, neglecting their teeth in the process, which leads to greater dental problems.

Sedation dentistry can end this problem by allowing anyone with anxiety to avoid negative feelings while still reaping the benefits of dental care. Often, the relaxed, sedated state of the patient allows the dentist to accomplish in one appointment what would normally take several stressful appointments.

Candidates for sedation dentistry include patients with a fear of needles or other dental anxiety, as well as individuals who require complex treatment and would like their treatment performed during a single pain-free visit.

To learn more about sedation dentistry and whether it is an option for you, please contact Beverly Hills Cosmetic Dentist Dr. Kevin Sands today to schedule your initial consultation.