Sedation dentistry involves the use of oral medications to keep patients relaxed during dental procedures. Patients are not under general anesthesia, just sedation, which enables them to overcome much of their anxiety. Minimal sedation can also be effective for patients who have very sensitive teeth; a severe gag reflex or a low threshold for pain.
The Four Levels of Sedation
Nitrous Oxide (minimal sedation)
Patients are given a mixture of nitrous oxide (laughing gas) and oxygen during the procedure. This level of sedation the patient stays awake but feels very calm and relaxed.
Oral Sedation (mild – moderate sedation)
Patients are given a pill to take prior to their dental procedure. Patients under moderate sedation are relaxed and experience an amnesic affect and do not completely remember the procedure.
IV Sedation or Conscious Sedation (deep sedation)
For the patient’s safety we have a dentist anesthesiologist administer the sedation and monitor the patient during their dental procedure. The patient is in a mild “twilight” sleep, on the cusp of consciousness*.
General Anesthesia (the patient is completely unconscious)
Similar to IV Sedation, our dental practice provides a dentist anesthesiologist to administer the sedation and monitor the patient throughout their entire dental procedure.
Will I be able to drive myself home after receiving oral or IV (intravenus) sedation during my dental procedure?
NO! Patients should NOT DRIVE for at least 24 HOURS after anesthesia has been administered.
Is NC Prosthodontic Specialists certified to administer anesthesia?
Our specialists can prescribe oral sedatives that help to relax the patient during their dental procedure. If the dental procedure requires anesthesia, our team of Board Certified Anesthesiologist Dentists will assist.
Can patients eat after anesthesia?
Patients can drink fluids and rapidly progress to full meals whenever they feel ready to eat.