Sedation Dentistry in Dallas, TX
Sedation dentistry is when medication is used to help you relax during a dental procedure. While it’s sometimes called “sleep dentistry,” most patients are awake during sedation.
At Bent Tree Dental, our sleep dentistry options can transform the dental experience for our patients who suffer from anxiety or fear during dental procedures or who have sensitive gag reflexes.
How Is Sedation Dentistry Used?
Sedation dentistry, also known as sleep dentistry has broad applications and can be used in many contexts during dental care.
The primary purpose of using sedation in dentistry is to help you feel comfortable and at ease. Rick Miller, DDS, might recommend sedation before your procedure for the following reasons:
Fear and Anxiety
The most common reason we use sedation dentistry is to help alleviate fear and anxiety for patients who are nervous about dental care.
Many people feel nervous about visiting the dentist, and this anxiety can prevent them from seeking the essential care they need. But without regular dental care, you’re at high risk of serious health concerns.
Sedation dentistry allows patients who suffer from fear and anxiety to feel calmer and more relaxed during their procedures, which can make the overall experience more manageable.
For procedures that take a long time, we may use sedation to help patients remain comfortable. Sedation dentistry allows patients to stay relaxed and still, which can not only enhance their comfort but also help Dr. Miller perform the procedure with greater efficiency and precision.
If you require a dental procedure that is particularly invasive (such as impacted tooth extraction), we may use sedation dentistry as a way to increase your comfort. Depending on the level of sedation we use, you may feel less pain or not remember the procedure at all.
Difficulty Sitting Still
Some patients, like young children or those with certain disabilities, may have trouble sitting still for the period of time required for dental procedures. In these cases, sedation dentistry is useful because it allows the patient to be calm and still while Dr. Miller safely performs the necessary work.
Severe Gag Reflex
A sensitive gag reflex is normal, but it can interfere with the ability to perform dental procedures effectively. Sedation can help suppress the gag reflex, which can make dental work easier and more comfortable not only for you but also for Dr. Miller.
Different Methods of Sedation Dentistry
There are different levels and methods of sedation dentistry that we may use, including:
- Minimal Sedation: You will be awake and aware of what is happening, but you will feel very relaxed
- Moderate Sedation: You will remain awake, but you may not remember much of the procedure, if anything at all
- Deep Sedation: You will slip in and out of consciousness, but you can still be awakened easily
- General Anesthesia: You will be completely unconscious during the procedure
At its core, sedation dentistry is a tool that customizes the dental experience according to the needs of the patient. It allows for a personalized level of care where your comfort and well-being are of the utmost importance.
Sedation for dental treatment is achieved through various methods of administration:
Inhaled Minimal Sedation
Inhaled minimal sedation dentistry uses nitrous oxide (laughing gas). With this method, the patient breathes in nitrous oxide in combination with oxygen through a mask that is placed over the nose.
Dr. Miller can control the amount of sedation you receive, and the gas tends to wear off relatively quickly. This is a mild form of sedation that helps patients relax while remaining fully conscious.
Oral sedation can be administered in a range of strengths, from minimal to moderate, depending on the patient’s needs. With minimal sedation, you will take a pill around an hour before your procedure. The pill will make you feel drowsy, but you will remain awake.
If needed, a larger dose may be given for a moderate level of sedation. In this case, you may feel groggy enough to sleep through the procedure but can still be awakened easily.
Moderate IV Sedation
IV sedation involves administering the sedative through your veins, which allows it to work more quickly. This method enables Dr. Miller to adjust the level of sedation continuously throughout the procedure to maintain your comfort.
Deep Sedation and General Anesthesia
In the most aggressive forms of sedation dentistry, medications are administered to make you either nearly or completely unconscious throughout the procedure.
If you go under general anesthesia, you will not be easily awakened until the effects of the anesthesia wear off or we reverse the medication. This method of sedation is typically reserved for the most intensive procedures or for patients with extreme difficulty controlling their movements.
Which Method of Sedation Dentistry Is Right for You?
Each method of anxiety-free dentistry has its own set of benefits, so the best choice for you will depend on your individual needs, the procedure you’re having, and your overall health. Some methods simply aren’t suitable for patients with certain health conditions, while others require the presence of an anesthesiologist.
Therefore, before you have a procedure that requires sedation dentistry, you will have a consultation with Dr. Miller to discuss in detail the sedation options available to you and decide which one will be most appropriate for your situation.
Eligibility for Sedation Dentistry
When determining your eligibility for sedation dentistry, Dr. Miller will take a thorough medical history and consider factors such as:
- Health status
- Known allergies to medications
Other conditions, such as pregnancy, may also affect your eligibility for sedation dentistry.
Sedation Dentistry in Dallas, TX
Sedation is a useful tool for patients who are going through certain procedures or who have severe anxiety about the dentist. It’s also a great option to help care for patients who cannot sit still during a procedure.
At Bent Tree Dental, Dr. Miller uses anxiety-free sleep dentistry on a patient-by-patient basis, according to what is best for the patient’s overall health. To learn more about our practice and to schedule a consultation, contact us today.