Nothing to Fear
In spite of the dental technology that has made dentistry virtually pain-free, dental fear and anxiety
still keeps millions of patients away from the dental office every year. For these patients,
local anesthesia is not enough to treat the psychological factors of their condition -- a sedative is
often needed to put them at ease duringdental treatment. Conscious sedation is an excellent way to
treat dental anxiety so your dentist can get to work on your teeth!Conscious sedation dentistry allows
you to enter a state of relaxation while staying awake during the procedure. Although you won't feel any
pain, you'll be able to respond to your dentist's questions and commands. As communication is key with
any dentist-patient relationship, conscious sedation is an excellent option for fearful dental patients.
Dental Sedation in a Nutshell
There are several types of sedation dentistry used to treat different levels of dental anxiety, each putting you in varied states of relaxation:
-- With minimal sedation, you are relaxed while remaining awake and alert.
-- You will remain conscious during a procedure, but you probably won't remember much about it
. While you're able to communicate, you may feel groggy and slur your words. Some patients do fall
asleep with moderate sedation but can be easily woken back up.
-- This renders you either semi- or totally unconscious during your dental procedure, and does not
usually fall under the category of conscious sedation. You will not regain consciousness until the drug
wears off or is reversed, and recovery time takes longer.Most forms of conscious sedation are considered
"light" or "moderate" sedation. Surprisingly, conscious sedation is also referred to as sleep dentistry even
though you remain awake during the procedure!