When it comes to dentistry, many people are under the impression that they need to be fully awake and alert in order for the dentist and hygienist to work on their teeth. However, with sedation dentistry, you can actually be lightly sedated during your appointment – which can make you feel more comfortable and relaxed.
Sedation is not the same thing as being asleep. Let’s talk about what sedation dentistry is, what sleep dentistry is, and why we prefer sedation dentistry here at the offices of Dr. Ernie Soto in Plantation.
The term “sedation” refers to using a medication, or sedative, to keep you relaxed and to decrease (but not eliminate) your awareness and ability to respond to external stimuli. The key is that your awareness is reduced, but you are still conscious. A dentist can use an IV drip to deliver the sedative intravenously during procedures, and this is known as IV sedation.
In medical terms, sleep refers to a loss of consciousness. Loss of consciousness can be medically achieved by administering general anesthesia, which “knocks you out” so that you cannot feel anything, respond to any stimuli, or create any memories while you are under the anesthesia.
Sedation dentistry is a great way to relax and feel comfortable during your dental appointment. With sedation dentistry, you can be lightly sedated – so you are still conscious and are able to follow simple directions from the dentist.
This is a great option for people who are anxious about dental cleanings or any kind of mild dental work, have extreme tooth sensitivity, or do not get pain relief from local anesthesia (such as Novocaine).
Sleep dentistry, on the other hand, is when you are completely asleep during your dental appointment, just like during general surgery. You will be totally unconscious, and you will need time to recover from the anesthesia.
This is done with general anesthesia, which requires an anesthesiologist to be present during your procedure because it can be risky and have side effects – such as breathing issues and heart problems. General anesthesia is only administered in dentistry if the patient will be undergoing a lengthy or complicated dental surgery.
IV sedation provides the most benefits while still relieving anxiety and tamping down pain during your dental visit. This treatment does not require an anesthesiologist to be present, because every dentist who offers this will be qualified to administer the IV sedation.
Sedation dentistry provides a pain-free and anxiety-free dental experience without the risks and costs of general anesthesia. Dr. Ernie Soto has over 30 years of experience in cosmetic dentistry, oral procedures, and implants, and he highly recommends IV sedation if you are anxious about any dental procedures, including cleanings. All you have to do is ask beforehand.
To schedule an appointment with Dr. Soto, call us today at (954) 368-6264 or fill out our appointment request form online now. We hope to see you soon!