Many patients worry about pain during their dental work, but modern dentistry has evolved to ensure patients feel more at ease in the dentist’s chair. Sedation dentistry refers to medication that your dentist can provide to help you relax at your dentist’s office.
Sedation differs from anesthesia, another medication that your dentist can offer to keep you comfortable during a dental procedure. Elevate Dental Implant Center, a dental practice located in Hanover, MD, describes the different anesthesia and sedation options available at your dentist’s office.
A local anesthetic refers to a medication that a dentist will inject directly into a nerve to block pain signals from transmitting to the brain. The medicine creates a numbing sensation in the designated area that lasts throughout the dental procedure and usually takes a few hours to wear off once the patient returns home.
Dentists use a local anesthetic in many procedures, including dental fillings and dental crowns. It does not affect a patient’s consciousness at all, and the patient can return to their normal activities without issue after receiving a local anesthetic.
General anesthesia is a medication, usually administered intravenously, that induces unconsciousness in a dental patient. Dentists reserve this type of medicine for more invasive dental procedures, including oral surgery, and for patients with extreme dental anxiety.
The patient will be asleep and unaware while under general anesthesia. They will awaken once the dentist stops providing the medicine at the conclusion of the procedure.
Because the patient will be groggy and disoriented after this medication, they should arrange for a ride home from the dentist’s office before their appointment. These effects usually last for the rest of the day.
Compare to Sedation Dentistry Options
While anesthesia tends to be necessary for patient comfort during dental work, sedation dentistry is designed to help nervous patients relax at the dentist’s office. You can discuss the level of sedation you prefer before you arrive for your dental procedure. The dental professional can recommend:
- Mild sedation: the dental patient will feel a calming sensation
- Moderate sedation: the dental patient will remain awake but may feel drowsy
- Deep sedation: the dental patient will not be aware of nor remember their surroundings
The method of delivery for sedation may vary too, depending on the patient’s preferences and the dentist’s recommendation. You may receive sedation through an IV, through an oral tablet taken before the upcoming dental work, or through a mask containing nitrous oxide that a patient will breathe during their procedure. Recovery after sedation may depend on the method the medication was administered.
Sedation and More from Your Dentist in Hanover, MD
Elevate Dental Implant Center offers sedation dentistry options for patients undergoing oral surgery or other treatments in Hanover, MD. If you would like a permanent tooth replacement solution to restore your smile, consider dental implants from our practice. To schedule a consultation with us, contact our staff online or reach us by phone at 410.205.4997.