Many people in the Little Rock, AR area are afraid of going to the dentist for one reason or another. Consequently, they don’t go and any dental problems they have go untreated. As the name suggests, sedation dentistry is a variety of treatments that keep the patient calm, comfortable, and relaxed during the procedure. Some people call sedation dentistry “sleep dentistry,” but that is not quite accurate, for the patient doesn’t usually fall asleep.
Another advantage of sedation dentistry is that it enables the dentist to do more work since they don’t have to try to calm a frightened patient who wants to leave as soon as possible. In some cases, the dentist can perform multiple procedures during one visit.
Sedation dentistry can be safely used on children. It is often recommended for an anxious child or one who simply can’t remain still while the dentist is working.
Types of Sedation Dentistry
There are different types of sedation dentistry, and the dentist will choose one that best fits the patient’s needs.
Nitrous oxide, also known as “laughing gas,” is the mildest type of sedation dentistry. The patient will wear a mask over their nose and inhale a mixture of nitrous oxide and oxygen. The gas works quickly and wears off quickly. The dentist may recommend nitrous oxide for patients who are undergoing minor procedures and/or are only a little bit scared.
Oral conscious sedation is also recommended for patients undergoing minor procedures. We will give the patient a medication sometime before the procedure. Oral conscious sedation is the oldest and best-known form of sedation dentistry.
IV conscious sedation is recommended for patients who are either having a lot of work done and/or have extreme fear. The dental professional will inject the sedative intravenously. IV conscious sedation enables the dentist to monitor the patient and adjust the dosage accordingly.
A Note About Patient Safety Monitoring
During sedation dentistry, it is mandatory to monitor the patient’s vital signs to ensure everything goes smoothly. This is especially true if the patient is elderly and/or has a serious health problem. We will monitor the patient’s heart rate, blood pressure, heart rhythm, and blood oxygen concentration throughout the entire process.
Reach out to our cosmetic dentist and team at the office of Samuel F. Jirik, DDS to learn more about sedation dentistry. Contact us today to book your appointment at our office in Cabot, AR and get started!