Dr. Huelsman and team will do all we can to make your visit to our office as comfortable as possible!
Anxiety and fear of dental treatment are quite common. That’s why we offer sedation dentistry to our patients. Sedation can be used for any procedure – from basic teeth cleaning to fillings to more complex procedures. No one should ever skip needed dental services because of fear or anxiety.
What is sedation dentistry?
Sedation dentistry means the use of medication to help patients relax during dental procedures. The term “sleep dentistry” is sometimes used to mean sedation dentistry. The reality is that patients are awake under all our sedation methods except for general anesthesia.
There are various levels of sedation:
- Minimal sedation — you are awake but relaxed.
- Moderate sedation (also called “conscious sedation”) — you’re awake, very relaxed and may not remember much of the procedure.
- Deep sedation — you are on the edge of consciousness but can still be awakened.
- General anesthesia — you are completely unconscious.
Regardless of which type of sedation you receive, you’ll also typically need a local anesthetic. This is numbing medication to relieve pain at the site where the dentist is working in the mouth. We generally use novocaine or lidocaine for local numbing.
What types of sedation are used in in your office?
We use the following sedation methods. Dr. Huelsman will recommend the best method for you depending on the procedure being done and your anxiety level:
- Inhaled sedation. This minimal sedation technique uses nitrous oxide — known as “laughing gas” — combined with oxygen. You breathe it through a mask placed over your nose. The gas will help you relax, but it probably won’t make you laugh (or cry)!
- Oral sedation. This type of sedation is taken in pill form and can range from minimal to moderate depending on the dosage given. Halcion is the most common drug for minimal sedation. We’ll have you take it an hour before the procedure. You will still be awake, but relaxed and drowsy. A larger dose may be given to produce moderate sedation.
- IV sedation. With this technique, you receive the sedative drug through a vein, so it works more quickly. The amount of sedation can be adjusted throughout the procedure.
- Deep sedation and general anesthesia. These medications must be given by a licensed dental anesthesiologist. They’ll make you almost unconscious or totally unconscious, and are generally used for very complex procedures that last a fair amount of time.
No reason to fear dentistry with Kevin S. Huelsman, DDS – call today for your appointment!