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Sedation Dentistry

Sedation Dentistry in Middletown, NY

Cornerstone Dental understands that patients may feel anxious before any type of dental procedure. Our staff of top-notch dental professionals will ensure that each patient will be as comfortable and relaxed as possible. Contact us at 845-342-4668 today to learn more about the sedation options we offer.

Sedation Dentistry: What is It?

As stated, going to the dentist may be anxiety-provoking. If anxiety develops, a patient’s pain threshold decreases, which makes them hypersensitive to every sensation. Patients who tend to become anxious at a dental visit will very often postpone – or outright avoid – scheduling an appointment. They would rather neglect going to the dentist altogether, which will likely lead to more serious issues later in life –where both dental and in overall health are concerned.

The term “sedation dentistry,” is also referred to as “sleep dentistry.” A sedative is carefully administered to a patient before or during dental treatment. The patient becomes relaxed, anxiety is eased, and the dentist can complete the procedure without being concerned about causing any discomfort. Before any procedure, each patient’s threshold of anxiety will be evaluated by a staff member of Cornerstone Dental, followed by a discussion of available sedation options.

Degrees of Sedation

There are different levels or degrees of sedation dentistry that range from “minimal” to “profound.” Cornerstone Dental will determine the proper level for each patient, depending on his or her individual needs. The levels of sedation are:

  • “Minimal”: The patient will be relaxed but awake.
  • “Moderate” (or “conscious”): The patient will be drowsy and may slur when he or she speaks and won’t remember much of the procedure.
  • “Deep”: The patient will be on the edge of consciousness but still be awake.
  • “General anesthesia”: The patient will be entirely unconscious.

The staff at Cornerstone Dental strive to make every patient as comfortable as possible for any procedures he or she may need to undergo. Sedation options are available to alleviate their dental anxiety for a stress-free and painless experience.

What are the Types of Sedation for Dental Procedures?

Cornerstone Dental provides a variety of sedative options for everything from basic treatments (e.g., routine cleanings, dental fillings) to more advanced operations (e.g., oral surgery, full mouth rehabilitations). Before anything else, the patient’s medical history will be reviewed to determine if he or she is healthy enough to qualify as a candidate for sedation dentistry. Our staff will ensure that each patient feels safe. The assigned specialist will take every precaution in monitoring the patient while he or she is under sedation. The types of sedation administered by Cornerstone Dental include:

Nitrous Oxide (a.k.a. “Laughing Gas”)

Among the safest types of dental sedation, nitrous oxide is an “inhalation conscious” option. Also referred to as “laughing gas,” nitrous oxide is colorless gas that the patient inhales through the nose, which is covered with a hood. The nitrous oxide is administered throughout the patient’s dental procedure.

A mild sedative, the purpose of nitrous oxide is to help the patient relax, and it takes effect quickly upon the start of being administered. Additionally, nitrous oxide will exit the patient’s body quickly upon completion of the procedure.

Oral Sedation

Another frequently used aid to help ease patient nervousness is oral – or “pill” – sedation. This option is popular among both dentists and patients because it is easy to administer, and needles are not necessary.

As its name suggests, a patient simply swallows or places a pill under his or her tongue a few hours before the dental procedure. Although the patient remains awake, he or she will feel groggy from oral sedation, with little-to-no memory of the procedure. For this reason, the patient must have someone else drive him or her to the procedure as motor skills will be affected. Oral sedatives may even be used in combination with nitrous oxide.

IV Sedation

Intravenous (IV for short) sedation is the administration of an “anti-anxiety” medication that’s injected either through a patient’s arm or hand. Also known as “twilight” or “sleep” dentistry, this is the deepest type of conscious sedation. Once IV sedation is administered to a patient, he or she is closely monitored by a dental anesthesiologist specialist before, during, and after the procedure or surgery.

At the beginning of the procedure, the dental anesthesiologist will insert a thin needle into a vein of the patient’s arm or hand. An intravenous tube is connected to this thin needle, through which the sedative is administered into the patient’s blood stream. Dosage may be easily adjusted, as necessary. The patient will most likely fall asleep but be able to breathe without any difficulty. It should be noted that most patients tend to have an “amnesic response” to IV sedation: Once they wake up, they will likely not remember undergoing the procedure. As stated, each patient is monitored throughout the procedure by the dental anesthesiologist, who will check and maintain the safety of the patient’s pulse, blood pressure, and oxygen. While IV sedation could be considered as the most intense option, it is most effective in helping patients who either have extreme dental-related anxiety or must undergo especially long procedures.

Sedated patient having dental procedures performed

Experience Sedation Dentistry for Any Treatment

Cornerstone Dental “gets it”: A dental procedure may not be easy to face. Through sedation dentistry, however, we can provide a relaxing and painless experience to our patients, whose safety and oral health are our main priorities. To learn more about the sedation dentistry options at Cornerstone Dental, or to schedule an appointment, please call 845-342-4668.