Does your heart start pounding at the mere thought of having a cavity filled? Do you get sweaty palms when you drive by a dental practice?
Many Seattle residents who have improved their smile with cosmetic dentistry or underwent extensive restoration services chose to use sedation. Though the terms “sleep dentistry” and “oral conscious sedation” are often used interchangeably, they are not identical. Let’s discuss the three main types of sedation used in dentistry.
The first level uses nitrous oxide, or “laughing gas” as it is typically called. Nitrous oxide has been used in Seattle cosmetic dental offices for generations because it is safe and effective. It goes to work at the first inhalation, relaxes the patient during the procedure, but wears off quickly after the mask is pulled off. If you need a little help to get through dental treatment, but don’t want to be knocked out cold, nitrous may be the best option.
Oral Conscious Sedation
Oral sedatives don’t start working as rapidly as nitrous oxide, but they help most patients achieve a deeper level of tranquility. These medications, however, do not usually lead to complete unconsciousness. Thus, oral sedatives and nitrous oxide are used in “conscious” sedation. Two of the most common sedatives used by Seattle dentists are diazepam and triazolam.
IV sedation uses medications similar to those used in surgery and results in true “sleep dentistry.” Most patients are completely oblivious to what is going on in their mouth. IV sedation is often used for services such as root canals, wisdom teeth extractions, and multi-procedure smile transformations. (The sedation will wear off shortly after the procedure, so you won’t need a handsome prince’s kiss to wake you up.)
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