A new year is coming and one of your resolutions might be to take some time for your health. This may mean having dental procedures done during the upcoming year. For patients who feel anxiety over going to a dentist for a procedure, conscious sedation can help you relax so your dentist can focus on taking good care of you while in the chair.
At Smiles Dental we believe in helping our patients feel as relaxed and comfortable as possible. Sedative medication works by slowing down the central nervous system. You are still aware of your surroundings but less responsive to the sounds around you like the dental drill. It also diminishes your sense of pain.
After having a sedative administered, you will feel more calm, relaxed, and awake. This combination helps your dental team get the work done more efficiently because you are aware and feeling good and can answer questions while they proceed.
The good thing about benzodiazepine sedatives is that they are not addictive and don’t have many side effects. To make sure the sedative administered is safe for the patient, the doctor and staff will ask a series of questions, including questions about your health and other medications you are taking. After taking your history, you will be monitored throughout the procedure and your dental team will ensure you leave the office with someone to make sure you get home okay.
One of the other effects, besides feeling deeply relaxed, is that patients feel time shifting, as if the hours of the procedure passed quickly, and won’t have much memory of what happened. Also, if you receive an analgesic it will feel like there is not much pain or discomfort.
Light Sedation: the patient is relaxed and awake and able to respond to questions and commands. This is administered by nitrous oxide (laughing gas) or even a pill. With laughing gas there is no recovery time and very minimal side effects.
Moderate Sedation: patient is conscious, but not remembering much afterward. You can still communicate, but feel groggy and slur your words. If by chance you do fall asleep, you will easily wake up. You will feel sleepy, and recovery time takes a little longer so you will need a ride home. Side effects are rare, but may include nausea.
IV Sedation is considered moderate sedation, but the medication is delivered intravenously, so the effect is quicker and can be adjusted during the treatment.
Deep Sedation: this can make you semi-conscious or unconscious. You won’t be conscious until the drug wears off or is reversed, and your recovery (awakening) takes longer. You will want to have someone waiting for you to take you home after the procedure and stay with you until you are fully awake and up and about.
If you have been putting off going to the dentist, take heart. We will go the extra mile to make your visit as comfortable and pain-free as possible. So give our office a call today at 360.200.6995 and let us help you smile again!