Save the Scares for Halloween, not a Visit to Kalil & Kress

Sedation DentistryFor many people, the thought of a visit to the dentist, even if it’s just for a routine cleaning, conjures of feelings of abject terror. It’s as if they instantly put themselves into that scene from Marathon Man where Lawrence Olivier, playing the role of the former Nazi doctor, drills Dustin Hoffman’s teeth to try and extract the secret location that he thinks Hoffman knows.

“Is it safe?” he says sinisterly.

At Kalil & Kress, we think the scary stuff should keep itself tied to Halloween. That’s why we offer sedation dentistry to make visiting our office scare-free!

What is sedation dentistry?

With sedation dentistry medications are used to help patients relax during dental procedures. Patients are not under general anesthesia, just sedation, which enables them to overcome most, if not all, of their anxiety.

Are there different levels of sedation?

There are four levels of sedation because different people have different levels of anxiety:

  • Minimal sedation — With this level of sedation, the patient stays awake but feels relaxed.
  • Moderate sedation — Patients under moderate sedation may slur their words when talking and not remember most of what occurred during the procedure.
  • Deep sedation — In deep sedation, the patient is on the edge of consciousness but can be awakened.
  • General anesthesia — A patient under general anesthesia is completely unconscious.

What are the different medications used for sedation?

  • If the patient prefers to be minimally sedated with gas, nitrous oxide, also known as “laughing gas,” is used. Nitrous oxide is mixed with oxygen and the patient inhales it through a mask placed over the nose. The gas wears off quickly and the patient usually can drive himself home following the procedure.
  • Oral sedation is the most common form of dental sedation and it can be minimal to moderate. The patient takes a pill usually about 30 minutes before the procedure. The pill makes the patient drowsy.
  • Compared to oral sedation, IV sedation works more quickly. The sedative medication is delivered through a vein. The method allows the dentist to adjust sedation levels continually.
  • Deep sedation and general anesthesia are delivered intravenously, as well. A patient under general anesthesia cannot be awakened easily until the anesthesia wears off or is reversed using a different medication.

See, that’s not so scary! If you get anxious at the thought of visiting us for your checkup, let’s talk about sedation dentistry. Call us at (603) 880-7004 to schedule your appointment.

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