Anesthesia vs Sedation Dentistry

Some patients may feel nervous or apprehensive leading up to a dental procedure, and dentists have worked hard to develop techniques to help patients relax during their appointments. Patients can choose medical methods to improve their dental experience and enhance their comfort level.

Dentists offer several types of sedation that can aid patients depending on their unique needs and their expected procedures. Dr. Ben Ahlbrecht, a dentist in Indianapolis, IN, describes the different benefits you can expect between anesthesia and sedation dentistry treatment.

sedation dental treatment in Indianapolis Indiana

Local Anesthetic

Before you undergo a dental procedure, your dentist might administer a local anesthetic to the affected area. This treatment uses an injection to block a specific nerve from sending pain signals to the brain.

The medication numbs the area so you will not feel anything during the course of the procedure. Dentists will usually apply a topical anesthetic to the area before the injection for further patient comfort.

The effects should fade after a few hours, in which time the procedure will be completed. The anesthetic does not affect your mental faculties, so you can return home and continue your normal activities, including operating a vehicle, directly after your appointment.

Sedation Dentistry Options

Your dentist can provide you with sedation during most dental procedures, which can alleviate dental fear, severe gag reflexes, and other potential discomforts. Depending on your unique needs, there are several types of sedation available.

Nitrous oxide is one form of sedation that is administered through a nasal mask. The patient breathes this medication and can relax without affecting their level of consciousness.

Sedation medication can also be delivered orally through a tablet taken before the procedure. You will be able to choose between deep sedation that will allow a patient to sleep during the procedure or mild sedation in which a patient remains conscious.

General Anesthesia

General anesthesia is reserved for more invasive dental work or patients with severe dental fear. This medication is usually given through an IV and renders a patient unconscious throughout their dental procedure.

Patients often wake from this treatment feeling groggy following their procedure. For this reason, these patients must arrange for someone to give them a lift home from their appointment.

Ask About Sedation Dentistry in Indianapolis, IN

North Meridian Dental Excellence offers sedation options and other general dentistry treatments to patients in Indianapolis, IN. Dr. Ahlbrecht also specializes in restorative and cosmetic dentistry for patients of all ages. To schedule an appointment with us, contact our office online or reach us by phone at 317.204.7134.