As a Redwood City dentist, we provide superior dental care and do so in a way that is gentle. This way, you can receive the care that you need without discomfort. We also use medication and sedation when necessary to ensure that you can remain calm and relaxed during your appointment. Sedation dentistry is one of those advances in dental medicine that is a huge blessing for a large number of patients. For years, people have been avoiding the dentist office in record numbers because of a fear known as dental anxiety. We are well aware of what dental anxiety does to a person, leaving them in a panic. This panic is so deep that for over 26% of affected people, it translates to them never being able to come in and see a dentist until they have a dental emergency. Sometimes even a dental emergency is not enough to motivate these folks past their fears to come in and see a dentist. This is a serious issue when almost half the people in the world are so afraid of the procedures at the dentist office that they are willing to risk pain and discomfort rather than coming in. Sedation dentistry can correct this by providing you with an alternative to living with the fear, in the form of sedation.
Sedation and dentistry are not new concepts working together. We have used sedation for many things, including procedures that involve a lot of work or in situations where it takes less time to have the patient asleep. Common examples of dentists using sedation are when we do a wisdom tooth extraction or a root canal. Today, however, we have expanded the scope of using sedation with dentistry so that we can help you to alleviate fears, even when you are coming in for less intrusive work. The one thing that you need to be aware of is the fact that we need to evaluate what you are having done, how much fear you have, and how much sedation you are going to need for the procedure.
As a Redwood City dentist and provider of oral surgery, there are four types of sedation that we make the most use of. Our preference is always to use the first three in the case of less intrusive procedures because we do not want to over use general anesthesia. The first, and most commonly used, type of sedation dentistry is called minimal sedation. In this state, you would be fully awake and also completely relaxed. The second state of sedation that we use is known as moderate sedation. When you are under moderate sedation, you will still be conscious but will be slightly more affected. You will probably slur your speech because you have a heavy tongue, and chances are, that you will not remember very much when it comes to the procedure. The next option is deep sedation, where you will be on the edge of consciousness. In essence, you will be asleep, but it will not be a very deep sleep. We can wake you up relatively easily if need be. Finally, there is general anesthesia, in which you are completely unconscious and will need to take some time to recover before being able to head home. As a Redwood City dentist, we are most likely to use this when performing a surgical procedure.