Imagine undergoing a complex dental treatment like a root canal, extraction, or oral surgery. When your treatment is complete, you have no recollection of the time it took, the pain, the noise, or the discomfort you were expecting.
Our Granite City dentists are proud to offer our patients the option of comfortable, safe, and effective anxiety-free ( light sedation) dentistry. Patients who benefit from anxiety-free dentistry have:
- Fear or anxiety of being at the dentist
- Difficulty sitting still for long periods of time
- A hard time getting (and staying) numb from anesthetics
What is light sedation, anxiety-free dentistry?
This type of sedation dentistry allows your dentist to provide a variety of dental treatments safely and comfortably for patients who experience anxiety when visiting the dentist. There are several benefits to anxiety-free dentistry, including:
- Little memory of undergoing the procedure
- No sense of time during the procedure
- No sense of smell or sound
- Multiple procedures can be performed more quickly
- No fear or anxiety during treatment
Patients who have undergone a procedure using light sedation dentistry will tell you it is a simple, relaxing way to experience dental care.
I am nervous about being unconscious — Is it safe?
There is no need to be nervous about having light sedation dentistry at our Granite City dental practice. We are licensed by the American Dental Association, and you will find we are both respectful and professional at all times. You will not be unconscious, just in a reduced state of awareness, a dream-like state, where you are breathing on your own but will respond if stimulated. We follow the Dental Organization for Conscious Sedation protocols and monitor your vital signs throughout the procedure. We are able to lighten or deepen your level easily and we conduct a thorough evaluation prior to scheduling the appointment.
Mild Sedation — Anxiolysis is the lightest form of sedation dentistry and is often used for patients with anxiety, longer procedures, or more complex dental issues. Mild sedation is administered orally. You remain in a reduced state of awareness but very sleepy throughout the entire procedure. You are able to breathe on your own, and you will feel a great sense of relaxation. Patients typically recover from anxiolysis sedation within a few hours after the procedure is complete. Nitrous oxide (laughing gas) inhalation is another form of mild-to-moderate sedation that results in relaxation during treatment and may be used alone or in combination with oral medications.
The procedure will be thoroughly explained to you and your companion and any questions you may have will be answered. Your companion will need to drive you to and from your appointment. and you will not be released until you are recovered enough to be under their care. Directions will be provided for them as they stay with you until you are fully recovered.
How are sedatives administered?
- Inhalation — Nitrous oxide, or laughing gas, is the most frequently used method for easing mild to moderate anxiety. Recovery is quick so you can resume your normal activities immediately.
- Oral — An extremely common technique for dental sedation is oral sedation. It is easy and does not require the use of needles. You will be given a prescription pill which, taken about an hour before your appointment, will have you fully relaxed by the time you arrive at our office. We will time the length of the appointment so that the sedative medication has begun to wear off toward the end and you can be safely placed under the care of your companion.
Please contact our practice to schedule a consultation with our Granite City dentists, learn more about sedation dentistry, and find out if light sedation may be right for you.