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Different Types of Dental Sedation

Different Types of Dental Sedation

If you feel nervous before a visit to the dentist, you should know that you’re not alone. In fact, experts estimate that as many as one in five people flat-out doesn’t go because they feel anxious about dental appointments. 

That’s a problem, though, because oral health issues — from cavities to gum disease — are usually preventable if you’re getting regular dental care. Here at Full Circle Dental Care in Del City, Oklahoma, Samuel Sigmon, DDS wants to help people feel more comfortable in our office, which is why we offer conscious sedation.

This is just one type of dental sedation, though. Let’s first look at your options:

Your options

There are several different options to taking the edge off at the dentist, ranging from minimal sedation to general anesthesia that renders you completely unconscious:

Local anesthesia

Generally used in minimally invasive dental procedures, local anesthesia is injected directly into the area of treatment and leaves it numb for the entirety of the process, wearing off shortly after your visit.

Inhaled sedation

This minimal sedation comes in the form of nitrous oxide, or laughing gas. You place a mask over your nose and breathe the gas in, which leaves you feeling relaxed and potentially a little loopy. 

Oral sedation

This is sedation you take in the form of a pill. Depending on the dose we give you, you might feel minimally or moderately sedated. Oral sedation usually takes about an hour to kick in, meaning you’ll need to schedule a time before your appointment to take your dose. 

Intravenous (IV) sedation

This sedation falls in the middle of the range, helping you feel more relaxed than nitrous oxide but still leaving you conscious. It might make you drowsy, and some patients even fall asleep during treatment. But with IV sedation, you can be awakened with a light nudge. And you’ll be able to communicate with us, telling us if you experience any discomfort or asking any questions you may have. 

Local anesthesia

Generally used in minimally invasive dental procedures or very nervous patients, general anesthesia renders you completely unconscious for the duration of your treatment.

Why we chose IV sedation

Here at Full Circle Dental Care, Samuel Sigmon, DDS offers IV sedation to give you a moderate level of sedation. This helps patients feel more relaxed than laughing gas, partially because it’s a deeper sedative and partially because they don’t have to deal with the potentially claustrophobic feeling of breathing through a gas mask. 

We also like IV sedation because unlike oral sedation, it can be adjusted as needed throughout your treatment. If you’re feeling uncomfortable or anxious, we can increase the sedative enough to help you settle in.  

One thing you should know is that if you choose IV sedation, you’ll need someone else to drive you home from your appointment. 

Ultimately, that little inconvenience is usually far outweighed by the benefit of feeling relaxed at the dentist. To learn more about how conscious IV sedation works and if it could be right for you, feel free to call our office in Del City, Oklahoma, or book your appointment online today. 

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