We are pleased to offer our patients options for comfortable, safe, and effective sedation. An active member of the American Dental Society of Anesthesiology, Dr. Mueller stays current with sedation through continuing education with the society. Patients who benefit from sedation 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 local anesthetics
Benefits of Sedation
Sedation enables our doctors to provide a variety of treatments safely and comfortably for patients who experience anxiety when visiting the periodontist. There are several benefits to sedation, including:
- No memory of undergoing the procedure
- No sense of the passage of time while under sedation
- No sense of smell or sound
- No fear or anxiety during treatment
Patients who have undergone a procedure using sedation will tell you it is a simple, relaxing way to experience dental or periodontal treatment.
What levels of sedation are available to me?
There is no need to be nervous about having sedation at our practice. We are licensed by the American Dental Association, and you will find we are both respectful and professional at all times.
Sedation is closely regulated by law. There are three sedative states at which a dental care professional can administer treatment: minimal sedation, moderate sedation, and deep sedation.
- Minimal Sedation — Anxiolysis is the lightest form of sedation dentistry. It is often used for patients with mild anxiety, longer procedures, or more complex situations. Mild sedation is usually administered orally. You remain awake or very sleepy throughout the entire procedure. Still able to breathe on your own, 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 inhalation (laughing gas) is another form of mild-to-moderate sedation that results in relaxation during treatment.
- Moderate Sedation — Used for patients with moderate dental anxiety or who need longer or more complex procedures, conscious sedation often refers to the use of light IV sedation. With conscious sedation, you will remain awake throughout your procedure, but will be in a deep state of relaxation. It is recommended that patients who receive conscious sedation have a parent, spouse, or friend accompany them to appointments because it can take several hours for the sedative to wear off and driving may be unsafe.
- Deep Sedation — Patients who undergo deep sedation move between consciousness and unconsciousness during their dental procedure. They often have no recollection of the treatment and are unable to respond to commands even if they are awake at times during the procedure. It is recommended that patients who receive deep sedation have a parent, spouse, or friend accompany them to appointments because it can take several hours for the sedative to wear off and driving may be unsafe.
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 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.
- IV — The doctor will gently place an IV and administer medication to help you into a deeper state of relaxation. Once your treatment is complete, you will wake up with little or no memory of the appointment. With the use of sedation, we may be able to complete many different procedures during a single office visit.
Please contact us to schedule a consultation, learn more about sedation, and find out which method may be right for you.