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Sedation and Dentistry Asleep

Sedation allows dentists to create a state of relaxation and thus manage the fear and pain patients may experience during dental procedures.

There are several different types of sedation in dentistry.

Local anesthesia is administered by injecting medication into tissue or by applying a medication topically to an area to eliminate sensation. “The Wand” is an electronically controlled method of slow administration of local anesthetic that, combined with topical anesthetic, greatly reduces discomfort.

Oral sedation is used most frequently in dentistry and usually involves taking mildly sedating medications orally. All bodily functions remain normal and the person is able to breathe on his or her own. The patient may respond normally to verbal commands and may experience some degree of amnesia about what happened during their dental appointment. For oral sedation, you will need to be accompanied to and from your appointment.

Nitrous oxide or “laughing gas” may be used to achieve mild sedation and to reduce anxiety. The best part of this method is that it will be completely eliminated from the body in about 5 minutes after completion of the procedure. You are fully awake, alert, and safe to make your own way home or back to work. Nitrous oxide is excellent for children. Intravenous sedation (IV) is achieved by using medications that can be taken administered intravenously (IV). Patients may undergo moderate or deep sedation depending on the procedure being done.

Deep sedation and General Anesthetic can be achieved by injecting medication and /or giving oral medications, in combination with gases. Patients who are deeply sedated are not easily awakened but may respond to some stimulation. Patients may need some breathing assistance at deeper levels. During general anesthetic, the patient does not respond to stimuli and is routinely provided breathing assistance. Our Anesthesiologist, Dr. Gino Gizarelli, is a certified specialist in Dental Anesthesiology. He administers all of our IV Sedations and General Anesthetics. His training includes a Degree in Pharmacy, his D.D.S. (Doctor of Dental Surgery), and a Masters Degree in Anesthesiology.