Sedation Dentistry

Sedation dentistry refers to the use of sedation during dental treatment. Sedation is most commonly used during extensive procedures, for patients with dental phobia or for patients who find it difficult to sit still. There are different types of sedation, including nitrous oxide ("laughing gas"), IV sedation, oral sedatives and general anesthetic.

Sedation can range from the use of nitrous oxide to calm a patient to general anesthetics used to put patients to sleep. Patients with dental phobia, low pain tolerance, major dental treatment, physical handicaps or strong gag reflexes may require sedation. Procedures like fillings, crowns, bridges, root canals, extractions, cosmetic procedures and periodontal treatments often require some sort of sedation.

Sedation is endorsed by the American Dental Association and is an effective way to make many patients comfortable during their dental visit. Before using a sedative or anesthetic, it is important to tell your dentist about any medications or medical treatments you are receiving. Before administering any sedative or anesthetic, your dentist will talk to you about the process of sedation and pre-and post-sedation instructions.

IV Sedation

Intravenous (“IV”) sedation is sometimes known as “sleep dentistry” or “twilight dentistry”, and involves administering a dose of sedatives directly into the bloodstream via an IV. IV sedation is highly effective for patients who are fearful or anxious about their dental visits, as the IV sedatives will calm the patient. It also acts as an amnesiac, causing them to not remember the dental operation afterwards, even though the patient will remain conscious and responsive during the procedure. Our office will provide you with detailed pre- and post-procedure instructions involving IV sedation.

Dr. Robert E. Stevens, Jr., DDS

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