Conscious Sedation (Sleep Dentistry)
Conscious Sedation (Sleep Dentistry)

Dental anxiety is a common type of phobia that affects people of all ages who may dislike undergoing dental treatment or simply visiting the dentist for a cleaning. Many people actually avoid going to the dentist because of this fear, and as a result compromise their dental health. Fortunately, there are several different sedation techniques available to help keep patients calm and relaxed during dental visits. Sedation safely allows patients to feel sleepy but still aware during treatment, so that they can be worry-free while receiving the care they need.

Unlike anesthesia, which is used to relieve pain or may put patients to sleep for complex procedures, sedation focuses on treating anxiety and helping patients feel comfortable so that they can receive the care they need to keep their mouths healthy. Local anesthesia is still administered in most cases to help create a relaxing and pain-free sensation during treatment.

Most dentists use conscious sedation, a state that lets patients feel relaxed but also remain awake and able to respond to commands. Patients will not remember most of the procedure with this sedation, but can still respond to commands by the dentist, ensuring that the procedure is performed as efficiently as possible.

Conscious sedation may be administered through oral medication, which is the most commonly used form of sedation for dental treatments. Patients are given a prescription for a sedative to be taken the night before or an hour before your treatment to create a relaxed, anxiety-free state.

Patients will need someone to drive them to and from their appointment, and should avoid driving for the rest of the day after treatment. You may experience mild nausea from the sedation, but this usually passes quickly. Conscious sedation is considered safe and effective for most patients with a very low risk of complications.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How often should I see the dentist?

Children, teens, and adults should all see us for a regular checkup at least once every six months. Patients who are at a greater risk for oral cancer or gum disease may be required to come in more than just twice a year. Dr. Durand will help determine how often you should visit our office for regular checkups.