Sedation Dentistry

Curious about what exactly sedation dentistry is? Unsure if it’s something you need? Something that could be beneficial for you? At Spokane Dental, we are experts in the field, and we are here to answer the most common questions about what sedation dentistry entails and why you may want to consider paying us a visit if it’s something you’re considering!

What is Sedation Dentistry

The official definition of sedation dentistry is dentistry in which the administration by any defined route or technique of drugs which results in the depression of the central nervous system. (American Dental Association, 2023). In simpler terms, it is essentially the use of medication to assist patients in being able to relax, feel calm and at ease, and minimize pain during dental procedures. There are four levels of sedation within sedation dentistry that involve varying levels of sedation for a patient. There is mild or minimal sedation, moderate sedation, deep sedation, and general anesthesia.

Minimal, or mild sedation is administered in the form of a gas, which many people know as ‘laughing gas. This level of sedation affects the patient enough to where they feel relaxed and are no longer experiencing any anxiety. When a patient receives minimal or mild sedation, they are able to remain both conscious and aware throughout the entirety of the procedure or dental treatment they are having done.

Moderate sedation is the next level up, making it slightly stronger than mild or minimal sedation. It is given typically in the form of a pill and has a stronger effect that not only allows the patients to feel a deep level of relaxation but will also sedate them enough to the point where they may have a very hazy recollection of the procedure and will even have trouble speaking. Deep sedation in administered intravenously, which means it is administered through an IV. Though with this level of sedation the patient is still considered to be ‘awake’, they are right on the edge of consciousness and will experience what many call ‘twilight sleep’ throughout the procedure until they are awakened.

General anesthesia can be administered by IV, gas, or an injection. With this level of sedation, which is the strongest, the patient is completely unconscious throughout the procedure. When awakened, they will not have any recollection from the procedure. General anesthesia is often the least common form of sedation to be used as it is reserved for more serious procedures such as the removal of wisdom teeth.

Reasons You May Want to Consider Sedation Dentistry

  1. Reduce dental anxiety. One of the most common reasons patients choose sedation dentistry is because of their fear and anxiety about the visit and / or procedure. Depending on the level of sedation, the patient will feel an extreme sense of relaxation and wellbeing while the rest of their senses are dulled, and the feeling of pain is eliminated.
  2. It will help you sit still throughout the procedure. Many patients can begin feeling restless and fidgety during a procedure, and some may have disabilities that make it difficult for them to stay still. Sedation of various levels can help solve that, allowing the dentist to get the procedure done more quickly and efficiently.
  3. Decrease gag reflex. For those patients who have a very high or easily triggered gag reflex, sedation dentistry can be a huge relief. Mild forms of sedation decrease an individual’s gag reflex, making the patient feel more relaxed and comfortable while also allowing the dental team to work without interruptions, again resulting in quick and efficient procedures.
  4. Time flies when you’re…sedated? No really! Whether you receive mild sedation or deep sedation, it will help the time pass quickly. That means less time feeling awkward staring up at dentist with a gaggle of tools and hands in your mouth!
  5. Get everything taken care of at once. Most people like to spread out their appointments if they need various amounts of work done, as it’s not exactly comfortable or easy to lay still in a dental chair for hours on end. When sedated, you can have all the dental work you need done taken care of in one appointment. This will also save you from feeling anxious before multiple different appointments. Instead, you can get it done all at once!
  6. Eliminate sensitivity. The sensations created by the drilling, picking, poking, and polishing of teeth are hard for some patients to tolerate. When sedation dentistry is used, oversensitivity is decreased, and the patient can relax without discomfort.
  7. Improve your quality of life. Life throws enough at you as it is. The last thing we want is our patients to experience anxiety over their upcoming visits with us. Knowing that with sedation dentistry your appointment will be pain free and anxiety free will be a breath of fresh air.
  8. Helps with pain sensitivity. Some people are more sensitive to pain than others, and even with the use of Novocain, pain and soreness can be a problem for some patients. Sedation dentistry will help decrease that extra level of pain, allowing you a more pleasurable experience at the dentist.

Sedation Dentistry at the Best Spokane Dentist – Spokane Dental

If you need sedation dentistry in the Spokane area, Spokane Dental is the place for you! We opened our doors in 2012 and have been providing the highest level of dental care for our patients ever since! Not only do we offer sedation dentistry, but we provide services such as restorative dentistry, dental implants, professional teeth whitening, periodontal gum disease treatment, and pediatric dental care, making us your one stop shop for your family’s dental health. At Spokane Dental, we always say we love to see you smile because, well, we do! Our team along with Dr. Jonathan Smith provides the best care with the most compassion, because we genuinely care about our patients. Check out what our patients have been saying about us or schedule a consultation to see for yourself!