Sedation Dentistry: What are my options?

Patients can be especially skittish about procedures involving the soft tissues of the mouth, and they may request that the periodontist take additional measures to ensure their comfort during deep cleanings or surgical interventions.

Sedation dentistry can benefit patients who are facing treatment for gum disease or cosmetic procedures that make the gums more symmetrical and proportional to better frame the smile. Patients may even opt for sedation when having dental implants placed.

There are different options for sedation dentistry, including conscious sedation and nitrous oxide. With conscious sedation, patients receive certain anti-anxiety medications, such as diazepam (Valium) or meperidine (Demerol) in doses that don’t cause a loss of consciousness. Conscious sedation may be delivered intravenously or in pill form.

Because patients remain awake, although deeply relaxed, with conscious sedation, this method presents fewer risks than general anesthesia. The airway remains open while patients are under sedation, still able to hear and respond to the periodontist.

Nitrous oxide, another sedation possibility, is administered in gaseous form, and the patient inhales it through a nasal mask. Nitrous oxide can be used for procedures like restorations and minor surgeries.

Some patients may prefer nitrous oxide to other methods of sedation because it can be reversed more quickly and it doesn’t involve needles.

With sedation dentistry, patients get another perk because they have no recollection of the procedure after the fact. Sedation also allows patients to endure longer sessions in the dentist’s chair, a feature that can be particularly valuable for dental implant patients.

If you’re opting for sedation, you will need to develop a plan for the day of the procedure. For example, you will need to bring a responsible adult with you to your appointment so that you have a way back home.

To learn more about the benefits of sedation dentistry, call the Dallas office of Dr. Beth Tomlin today to schedule a consultation.

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