Planning and Preparing for Dental Procedures: Your Questions Answered

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Planning and Preparing for Dental Procedures: Your Questions Answered

Making decisions about your smile can be confusing. Should you have a tooth pulled or get a root canal? Should you get adult braces or stick with a retainer? Should you use at-home whitening remedies or have your teeth professionally whitened? If questions like these are keeping you up at night, you've come to the right place. I used to stress out over routine dental procedures, and as a result, I did loads of research on everything dental-related. To help others, I'm using this blog as a place to collect, review and share what I've learned through the years. I hope you can use the information here to help you plan and prepare for your next dental appointment.

3 Frequently Asked Questions About Sedation Dentistry

Sedation dentistry refers to the use of several sedation techniques that help to keep dental patients calm during their respective dental procedures If you're about to undergo dental surgery and feel especially nervous about it, this article provides answers to three commonly asked questions about sedation dentistry.  

What Does Conscious Sedation Mean?

Conscious sedation refers to various sedation techniques that allow the patient to be half-conscious throughout his or her dental procedure. A consciously sedated patient can communicate with the dentist while the procedure is underway. Conscious sedation also allows for the patient to respond positively to verbal commands given by the dental practitioner. It is important to point out that conscious sedation often leaves patients with little or no idea of what transpired during the dental procedure.

How Is Conscious Sedation Better than General Anesthesia?

There are several differences between general anesthesia and sedation dentistry. Some of these differences also double up as the advantages of sedation dentistry over general anesthesia.

Safety is one of the greatest advantages of sedation over general anesthesia. This is because sedation dentistry does uses significantly lower doses of sedative drugs. A consciously sedated patient is able to control various reflex actions such as breathing throughout the dental procedure.

Secondly, conscious sedation also allows for a greater level of consciousness among dental patients. General anesthesia is known to leave patients unconscious making them unable to respond to verbal commands from the dentist.

Are There Different Levels of Conscious Sedation?

Yes. There are various levels of conscious sedation available for dental patients depending on how severe their dental phobia or anxiety is.  

  • Anxiolysis is the lowest level of conscious sedation and is the most common for use with regular dental procedures. Anxiolysis allows the patient to respond to verbal commands without being bothered with the procedure at hand.
  • Moderate sedation puts is the second level of sedation and is known to make patients sleepy or drowsy. However, the patient is still able to interpret and respond to verbal commands from the practitioner.
  • The third level of sedation is referred to as deep sedation. A deeply sedated patient will lose consciousness throughout the dental procedure. Deep sedation is seldom required for a large number of dental procedures and these sedative drugs will rarely be administered outside the operation room. 
  • If you have further questions about your upcoming surgery, consult with clinics like G P Dental Partners about sedation options to help you feel more confident and calm.