What is Sedation Dentistry?
Sedation dentistry helps patients relax and be comfortable during dental procedures. This growing field of dentistry benefits a variety of patients:
- People with dental phobia
- People with a strong gag reflex
- People who are afraid of needles
- People who need a lot of dental work
- People who hate the sound of the drilling
Sleep dentistry is often used interchangeably with sedation dentistry because patients are often so relaxed during sedation that they fall asleep. Sleep dentistry differs from being under general anesthesia, though, because oral sedation is much safer than general anesthesia.
Another term often used for sedation dentistry is no anxiety dentistry because it eliminates the fear and pain associated with dental work. Often, patients have little or no memory of their dental visit.
Patients who dislike feeling numb or getting shots no longer have to be anxious about going to the dentist.
There are several dental sedation methods available. Your Los Angeles sedation dentist will assess your needs and help you decide which method is most appropriate. Ranging from only anxiety reduction with pills to being completely under general anesthesia, the sedation levels vary to meet the different needs of patients.
- Anxiety/Stress Reduction: We use music and acupressure to help reduce anxiety. This works great on short procedures where the patient has mild to moderate anxiety.
- Anxiety Reduction with Oral Medications: There are several methods and we have found the best results with oral medications. The patient receives valium orally which is an excellent anti-anxiety medication. This is best for shorter procedures. Most patients feel “loopy” with little or no concern about the procedure even though they are aware of what is happening. The patient needs a ride when taking Valium.
- Oral Conscious Sedation: This is also known as light conscious sedation. The beauty of oral conscious sedation is that you can be comfortable for hours while we complete quite a bit of dentistry. It is a very safe type of sedation where you often take two very safe and predictable medications, Halcion (triazolam) and/or Valium (diazepam). With oral conscious sedation, we have a high success rate eliminating anxiety, gagging, awareness of needles, and awareness of noise. We have done dental treatment on over 2000 patients over the last 10 years using oral conscious sedation with great success.
- Intravenous Sedation: In this method, the sedative is given directly into a vein, so it works quickly and can be adjusted continually. The biggest advantage to this method is it quick and you can get deeper sedation than oral conscious sedation. The biggest disadvantage is for safe monitoring you need an anesthesiologist which can be expensive.
- General Anesthesia: This method makes the patient unconscious, as if deeply asleep, throughout the procedure. This is done in a hospital setting and is rarely done in dentistry.
Call Van Nuys sedation dentist Dr. Michael Bjornback to learn more about sleep dentistry or fill out the form on this page and we will be happy to contact you.