Many people prefer to sleep through any surgery. But for many dental surgeries, sleeping may not be the best solution to help you get around your anxieties and get through your procedure. The alternative, conscious sedation, can help you calmly cruise through any dental procedure without being overwhelmed by feelings of anxiety. Take a look at what conscious sedation is and how it can make your next dental appointment a breeze.
A Closer Look at Conscious Sedation
Conscious sedation is achieved when you’re given enough of a sedative to keep you calm, but not enough to put you to sleep for hours.
To better understand conscious sedation, it might help to look at the general levels of sedation:
Light sedation – at this level of sedation, you’ll notice that your racing thoughts slow down and general feelings of wellbeing begin to emerge. Your response times may be slowed.
Moderate sedation – at this level, you’ll notice a clear slowdown of racing thoughts, feelings of wellbeing and a pronounced slowing of your response times.
Deep sedation – you may fall asleep at this level of sedation, though waking you up can be done by simple physical stimulation.
General anesthesia – at this level of sedation, you’ll sleep through your procedure and won’t rouse until the anesthesia has begun to wear off
Routes of Administering Sedatives
There are several routes for administering various sedatives that are common at dentist’s offices:
IV sedation: administered intravenously (IV), IV sedation is the most customizable form of sedation you’ll encounter. You’ll be given a precise dosage based on your health, procedure, the level of sedation you want to achieve and other factors.
Nitrous oxide (Laughing Gas): administered via a face mask, nitrous oxide can help you achieve light to deep sedation.
Oral sedation: going this route, you’ll be administered prescription-grade sedatives to take orally. The downside of this route is the time it takes for the sedative’s effects to kick in.
Sedation Dentistry in San Antonio, TX