What is minimal sedation?

Going to the dentist is among the biggest fears that people have. Many people neglect going to see their dentist because they are afraid. This can be detrimental to oral health. For optimal dental health, most people should visit the dentist about twice a year. Those who are afraid of the dentist may wait years to go. One of the most common reasons for fear of the dentist is the pain associated with dental treatments.

Luckily for those with dental fears, dentists have options to calm your nerves. Minimal sedation is a method of calming patients’ nerves during different procedures. Different levels of sedation can be achieved using different means, ranging from minimal sedation (where you are simply relaxed) to general anesthesia (where you are entirely unconscious and cannot be woken up until the sedative wears off).

What types of sedation are available in dentistry?

The level of sedation employed is dependent on the procedure being administered. For nonsurgical procedures, low-tier sedatives are used. As procedures become more invasive, stronger sedatives can be used.

There are several types of sedatives available to a dentist. They range from oral sedatives such as certain pharmaceutical medications, to oral inhalants such as nitrous oxide. For oral surgery, a dentist may use intravenous sedatives which can provide a “twilight” or complete sedation. Dr. Homann currently offers oral sedatives and nitrous oxide. Dr. Homann refers to local specialists for those patients who require “twilight” or complete sedation for surgical procedures.

Sedatives are most often used in tandem with a local anesthetic which numbs the area on which the dentist will be working. This relieves the pain during the procedure. The sedative is used to relax the patient while the local anesthesia blocks out the physical pain.

Are sedatives safe?

All types have sedation do involve risk, and Dr. Homann offers a variety of options that have different levels of risk. An option like nitrous oxide (laughing gas) has a relatively high degree of safety when administered by an experienced professional. Always divulge your complete medical history to a dentist to minimize potential complications associated with anesthetics or sedatives.

Who is a candidate?

You may be a candidate for minimal sedation if you have a fear of going to the dentist, have a low tolerance for pain, or need a large amount of work done on your mouth. Those with sensitive teeth or bad gag reflexes are also usually candidates for sedation. Sedation helps keep your trip to the dentist more relaxing with a higher degree of comfort.

Residents of Elk Grove Village, Itasca, and Wood Dale as well as the surrounding areas who have dental fears should consider Dr. Brian Homann for minimal sedation. Dr. Homann is an experienced dental professional who strives to provide a comfortable environment for patients to receive comprehensive dental care. Call to schedule an appointment with Dr. Homann today at (847) 439-9440.