Taking care of your mouth at home with regular brushing at least twice a day and flossing at least once a day is essential for preventing serious oral health issues such as gum disease and tooth decay. However, these habits are only a part of the equation. Regular dental visits (at least twice a year) are also important. However, if you have a fear of, or feel anxiety over, going to the dentist, these feelings can keep you from getting the dental treatments you need (even if it’s something as simple as a cleaning). At Cameo Dental Specialists, we can help you to relax, allowing you to get your necessary procedures, with sedation.
Why Use Sedation?
Sedation involves the use of different techniques that are designed to help you relax and remain calm throughout the duration of your dental treatment, whether it is a cleaning, endodontic treatment, or oral surgery. There are several types of sedation:
|Minimal sedation. With minimal sedation, you are completely conscious and completely relaxed.
|Moderate sedation. Moderate sedation is slightly stronger than minimal sedation. You are still conscious, but you may feel drowsy. A common side effect of moderate sedation is temporary amnesia, where you may not recall parts, or any, of your procedure.
|Deep sedation. Deep sedation puts you right on the line between conscious and unconscious. You may fall asleep.
|General anesthesia. With general anesthesia, you sleep throughout your entire procedure.
Nitrous oxide, also known as laughing gas, is a type of minimal sedation. It is administered through a mask, which is placed over your nose and is mixed with oxygen. Nitrous oxide goes to work quickly as you breathe it in. It also wears off fairly quickly as well. When your procedure is over, we leave the mask for just a few more minutes with only the oxygen turned on. There are no lingering effects, and you can drive yourself home following your procedure.
Oral Conscious Sedation
Oral conscious sedation is a type of moderate sedation. It involves the use of a medication that is taken by mouth approximately an hour before your procedure. It typically takes about 30 minutes to kick in, but this time varies from patient to patient. For this reason, you will need someone who can drive you to your appointment. You will also need to have someone drive you home, as the effects of the sedation can linger for several hours following your procedure.
IV sedation involves the use of a needle to administer medication directly into your bloodstream. IV sedation can be used for moderate sedation, deep sedation, or general anesthesia. You will need to do some preparation at home before your appointment. You will need to avoid eating and drinking anything (including water) for at least 8 hours before you go in. When you sit in the chair, we insert a needle into either the back of your hand or into your forearm. We then attach IV fluids. When ready, the medication is turned on. Once it enters the bloodstream, it goes to work within seconds. When your procedure is over, the medication is stopped, and the needle removed. Just like with oral conscious sedation, you will need to have someone to drive you home.
If fear and anxiety is keeping you from getting your necessary dental treatments, sedation may be able to help. Call Cameo Dental Specialists today at (630) 425-4488 to find out how.