For many patients, dental surgery is a cause of incredible anxiety. Whether it’s extracting wisdom teeth or fixing a cracked tooth, dental procedures can lead to discomfort, fears, and phobias that interfere with regular oral health treatment.
Sedation dentistry, often used in dental surgeries, helps ease patients’ nerves before and during treatment. If you need dental surgery to restore or enhance your oral health, our sedation dentistry options can help prepare you for your procedure.
When Is Dental Surgery Necessary?
We often recommend dental surgery to patients when other treatment options didn’t succeed or the existing problem cannot be resolved through other dentistry techniques. Conditions such as gum disease and severe tooth decay can be resolved through a dental surgery procedure.
Even cosmetic procedures used to enhance your smile can warrant dental surgery.
If you have infected tooth roots, your dentist at Exceptional Dental might recommend oral surgery to remove the infected root through a hemisection. In addition, if you're experiencing dental trauma or have complications with your wisdom teeth, dental surgery is a solution you can consider. Our dentists might also recommend dental surgery to prepare you for dental implants and other prosthetic devices.
What Is Sedation Dentistry?
Sedation dentistry, also known as sleep dentistry, is meant for the relaxation and calmness of a patient before and during dental surgeries using pharmacological agents. These pharmacological agents (sedatives) depress the central nervous system, specifically concerning conscious awareness.
One of the major benefits of sedation dentistry is that people often feel like their dental procedure lasts only a few minutes, when in fact it might have taken hours to perform.
Sedation not only allows patients to feel more relaxed and comfortable during extensive dental work, but it can also reduce the number of appointments necessary — often to as little as one or two visits — because more work can be completed during each visit.
Your Sedation Options
Oral sedation dentistry
This type of sedation involves administering medicine via a small pill to allow dental surgery and reduce your anxiety during the procedure. With oral conscious sedation, our dentists will administer your medicine about an hour before surgery to ensure you're ready for treatment.
Even if oral sedation may make you drowsy, you'll still be able to talk with your dentist when necessary. You may also experience a gentle nudge when you awaken. A common side effect of sedation is temporary interference with your memory and driving skills. Therefore, having a friend or family member drive you home after the procedure is advisable.
Intravenous conscious sedation (IV), otherwise known as monitored anesthesia care, involves administering sedatives into the blood system through an IV port. During the procedure, a physician anesthesiologist or certified nurse anesthetist will monitor your oxygen levels, blood pressure, and heart rate. They may also adjust the level of sedation as needed.
IV sedation gives a more profound relaxation during dental treatment, and you might experience only slight awareness of the procedure when you wake up. If you or a family member is undergoing lengthy procedures or have severe dental anxiety, this might be an option to consider.
Common Types of Sedation Dentistry
This type of sedation dentistry involves using more substantial and non-surgical procedures such as crown placement, dental fillings, root planning, and scaling. This pain-free method best fits patients with dental anxiety and those uncomfortable with many routine procedures.
Restorative oral surgery
Restorative oral surgeries encompass dental emergencies and include procedures such as removing impacted teeth, wisdom teeth, and severely broken down teeth. In addition, your sedation dentist might use restorative oral surgeries for dental implant placement, root canal therapy, and tooth extraction.
Cosmetic surgery focuses on enhancing the appearance of your smile. Common cosmetic treatments include dental veneers, teeth whitening, and dental bonding. If you have chipped or cracked teeth, misaligned teeth, or gaps between your teeth, cosmetic dentistry is an option you can consider.
The benefits of cosmetic surgery include the following:
- Restores appearance and confidence
- Improves your overall health
- Enhances your diet
- Prevents further damage
- Simple and durable results
Sedation Dentistry + Dental Surgery FAQ
How long does sedation normally last?
Duration of sedation usually depends on the type you choose and how your body reacts to medications. For example, oral conscious sedation may last anywhere between two to eight hours. IV sedation may start to wear off within an hour, but it’s always advisable to wait about 24 hours before engaging in activities like driving.
What are the after-effects of sedation?
Side effects of sedation include drowsiness, headache, dry mouth, and nausea. These symptoms usually dwindle a few hours after the procedure. Other side effects you're likely to experience include memory loss of what happened during the procedure, slow reflexes, and a feeling of sluggishness.
Children might experience irritability, snoring, fever, vomiting, and nausea. Since sedation levels vary, it is always essential to be monitored during the procedure to ensure there are no complications experienced.
How safe is sedation dentistry?
Sedation dentistry is a safe, closely regulated way to ensure your comfort during your dental procedure. When you visit us, our professional sedation dentists and staff will monitor you throughout the entirety of your treatment to assure your safety.
Nevertheless, people with conditions such as obesity and obstructive sleep apnea should consult their doctor before undergoing a sedation procedure to avoid the risk of complications.
The Sedation Dentistry Experts at Exceptional Dental
At Exceptional Dental, our sedation dentists will take you through the sedation process and ensure your overall dental health is restored.
During your consultation, we’ll work together to formulate a treatment plan that best suits your oral health needs and goals — minus any dental anxiety.
To discuss dental sedation options, please contact one of our convenient locations in Mid City New Orleans, Uptown New Orleans, Metairie, Kenner, Marrero, Slidell, Watson, Baton Rouge, and Long Beach, MS.