Dentist in Katy
Sedation is our primary tool for providing comfort during dental appointments with our patients. We can use it for everything from complex surgical procedures to a simple tooth cleaning. The intensity and duration of effects depends on the level of procedure each patient requires. Sedation is relatively simple. It helps alter the conscious state of patients, so they have a diminished awareness of those things around them. By changing their awareness of the environment around them, Wilson Dentistry, along with Dr.'s Wilson and Boecker can help patients relax and have a successful procedure. For quite a few patients it is incredibly difficult for them to relax while having a dental procedure done. Most of the time it is because of a perceived level of pain rather than a true pain sensation.
Sedation dentistry refers to the use of medications and techniques to calm and relax patients during a dental procedure. The patient can enter into various states of consciousness when sedated, from being fully awake but feeling no pain, to feeling drowsy, or falling fast asleep. Minimal sedation keeps you awake but relaxed, moderate sedation (or conscious sedation) leaves you partially conscious and you may remember some about the procedure afterward. With deep sedation, you’ll still be awake, but you will hardly respond to any stimuli. We typically only use general anesthesia for more complex, invasive surgery that requires us to cut into the gums or jawbone.
It is a known fact that many people are incredibly anxious about their oral health. They have a high level of anxiety about having their teeth or soft tissues treated. This is even more exaggerated when dealing with surgical procedures to treat more serious conditions in the mouth. People can be afraid there will be pain associated with these procedures. In order to help patients with these concerns, sedation dentistry has risen to become a vital tool in the practice of dentistry.
It has become increasingly important for successful dental procedures to occur, that the patient remains relaxed and comfortable. It is imperative that no flinching or jerking motions occur during the procedure. If patients flinch or react in any way, unwanted damage can happen to healthy tissues in the patient’s mouth. This is even more important during those procedures where the patient is awake and aware of the sights and sounds of the surgical procedure. Our dentists at our practice look to decrease the level of anxiety and discomfort experienced during all oral surgeries. At Wilson Dentistry we choose a special combination of sedation options from a wide range of solutions depending on the patient’s unique needs. We also use sedation options in combination with pain management options to effectively comfort our patients before, during, and after a procedure.
When is Dental Sedation Necessary?
Treating patients with sedation dentistry is finding the balance of the necessary level of sedation versus the patient’s level of comfort. In many cases, it is not the actual pain or discomfort a patient feels but rather the perceived level. This is important in assessing the patient and finding the correct amount of sedation.
Sedation not only helps the patient deal with increasing anxiety levels, it also makes performing the procedures safer for the patient. We do not want the patient to react negatively during the course of the surgery and unexpectedly move. If this happens, in some instances, perfectly healthy tissue may be damaged by a surgical appliance.
Everyone wants to be as comfortable as possible during dental procedures, and we want that for our patients as well. Each patient’s needs are unique, so we always cater our sedation to their needs. The type and amount of sedation is going to depend on the procedure, the pain tolerance in the patient, the sensitivity of the teeth, the age of the patient, and more. We typically provide sedation at the beginning of the procedure so our patients can be as comfortable as possible during the entire process. There are also times where sedation is used to calm a bad gag reflex, or with patients that are having several dental procedures at the same time.
Types of Sedation
There are three different levels of sedation. Minimal sedation is adequate for most of the procedures however; in some cases, it is not enough. For minimal sedation, we ask our patients to inhale a combination of nitrous oxide – popularly called laughing gas – and oxygen through a mask placed over the nose. Since it’s the only sedation option that wears off quickly, it’s the only one that gives you back full control over your motor skills and senses right after the surgery. This allows you to carry on with your normal life without needing to rest for a while before driving or going about your day.
Moderate sedation is used for noninvasive procedures which diminishes awareness while the cardiovascular function is maintained. This allows the patient to feel external sounds and sensations, however they are in a lower level of consciousness.
The final sedation level is known as deep sedation. This is rarely used because the patient is completely unconscious and cannot be aroused by external stimuli or sensation.
Oral sedation options can also be as mild, depending on the dosage. Patients take the oral sedation medications about an hour before the procedure. When the medicine takes effect during the surgery, the patient may feel a little drowsy or even fall asleep. For complex procedures that require us to regularly moderate the level of sedation, we use IV sedation. With this option, the sedative is injected into the vein and therefore takes effect quicker, though they only last a short time. But if it’s a long procedure that we need you completely asleep all through, we’ll administer general anesthesia.
At Wilson Dentistry, we’ll rely on our expertise when determining a suitable sedation option for a patient to avoid risks and complications down the line. We’ll choose a sedation option for you after carefully considering your medical history, the reversal drugs that will wake you up from the sedated state, and other provisions like artificial ventilation. Call us today at (346) 340-5440 so we can schedule an evaluation to determine those sedation procedures most helpful to your situation.