Do not allow your anxiety to prevent you from taking care of your teeth. You are not alone if you experience anxiety while seated in the dental chair. Many patients report feeling moderate to severely anxious or afraid before dental appointments. That is why we offer conscious oral sedation at Ackerman & Towson Dentistry. Many patients ask us, “Is conscious sedation safe?” The answer is yes, and to help explain why we’ll start by helping you understand what conscious sedation is.
What is Conscious Sedation?
Conscious dental sedation is a type of dentistry that uses medication to help patients relax during procedures. The patient is conscious but sedated during the procedure. We can administer the medicine used in conscious sedation dentistry in various ways, including pill form, injection, or inhalation.
The type of conscious dental sedation used will depend on the procedure we perform and the patient’s level of anxiety. For example, pill form may be used for simple procedures, such as teeth cleaning, while injection or inhalation may be necessary for more complex treatments, such as dental surgery. Regardless of the method used, conscious sedation dentistry allows patients to receive the dental care they need without feeling anxious or uncomfortable.
Levels of Sedation
Dental sedation helps alleviate dental anxiety and make dental procedures more comfortable. There are four levels of dental sedation: minimally sedated, moderately sedated, deeply sedated, and general anesthesia.
- Minimally Sedated: Minimally sedated patients are still awake and able to respond to requests from the dental team.
- Moderately Sedated: Moderate sedation leaves patients drowsy and less aware of their surroundings, but they will still be able to follow simple commands.
- Deeply Sedated: Deeply sedated patients may not be able to respond to commands, but they can still breathe independently.
- General Anesthesia: General anesthesia completely knocks patients out, and they will need assistance with breathing.
At Ackerman & Towson Dentistry, we only practice conscious sedation.
Is Conscious Sedation Safe?
Conscious dental sedation is a safe and effective way to help patients relax during dental procedures. One of the main advantages of conscious sedation is that it allows patients to remain aware and respond to questions during their procedure. Being responsive can be helpful for patients who may feel anxious about being put under general anesthesia.
Conscious sedation can be very effective in reducing anxiety and helping patients relax during dental procedures. Additionally, conscious sedation generally causes minimal side effects, and patients can recover from the effects after the treatment is over quickly. Additionally, conscious sedation is typically less expensive than general anesthesia, which can be another advantage.
However, one downside of conscious sedation is that it may not work as well for some people as others. Additionally, conscious sedation can cause some side effects like drowsiness and nausea. Overall, conscious dental sedation is safe and effective, but weighing the pros and cons is essential before deciding if it is right for you.
Conscious Sedation Services
At Ackerman & Towson Dentistry, we offer laughing gas or oral conscious sedation.
- “Laughing Gas”: The mildest type of conscious sedation is laughing gas. You can return to work after your session, and you won’t need someone to drive you home because it has few dangers or adverse effects and wears off shortly after we finish administering it. You will breathe in a mixture of laughing gas and oxygen while wearing a small mask over your nose. You’ll start to feel more relaxed immediately.
- Oral Conscious Sedation: We recommend this level of sedation for people who are more anxious about going to the dentist. You’ll be given a sedative by Dr. Ackerman or Dr. Towson, which you’ll take about an hour before the procedure. Although you might feel sleepy, you will still be awake.
You will need to arrange for someone to drive you home because conscious oral sedation, unlike laughing gas, can take many hours to wear off. If you opt for conscious oral sedation, we advise taking the rest of the day off from work to unwind.