For many adults and children, going to the dentist can be an intimidating experience. At his practice in Tarzana, California, Dr. Dann uses sedation dentistry to help patients from throughout the San Fernando valley feel more comfortable during various procedures.

Sedation Dentistry   Q & A

Sedation Dentistry is used when a patient is apprehensive about the treatment being performed. Often, sedation dentistry is used to assist special needs children, children who are very frightened, and adults with a phobia of the dentist. Sedation dentistry uses medication, usually injected through an IV in the arm. Patients are relaxed during dental sedation dentistry but they are not asleep unless general anesthesia is used.
Adults and children who have a fear or intimidation which is hindering them from visiting the dentist, or having an effective treatment, are candidates for sedation dentistry. These types of patients include.

⚬   Can't sit still
⚬   Have sensitive teeth
⚬   Have sensitive gag reflex
⚬   Have a low pain tolerance
⚬   Are uncomfortably nervous or scared
⚬   Need a large amount of work done

There are different levels and types of sedation used depending on the individual or type of treatment being done.
The following types of sedation are used in dentistry:

⚬   Inhaled minimal sedation. You breathe nitrous oxide -- otherwise known as "laughing gas" -- Oral Sedation. Oral sedation comes in pill form and       depending on the total dose given, oral sedation can range from minimal to moderate.
⚬   IV moderate sedation. You receive the sedative drug through a vein, so it goes to work more quickly.
⚬   Deep sedation and general anesthesia. You will get medications that will render you deeply asleep during the procedure.

Levels of sedation include:

⚬   Minimal sedation - you are awake but relaxed.
⚬   Moderate sedation - you may slur your words when speaking and not remember much of the procedure.
⚬   Deep sedation - you are on the edge of consciousness but can still be awakened.
⚬   General anesthesia - you are completely unconscious.

Regardless of which type of sedation you receive; you'll also typically need a local anesthetic or numbing medication at the site where the dentist is working in the mouth. This relieves pain if the procedure causes any discomfort.