If the idea of dental treatment makes you or your family members apprehensive, nervous or anxious, we can help. Working together with you, we create a personalized sedation plan to help you relax and rest easy while we perform your treatment.
Unlike anesthesia, which is used to relieve pain or to put patients to sleep for complex procedures, conscious sedation focuses on treating anxiety and helping patients feel comfortable. Local anesthesia is still administered in most cases to help create relaxing, pain-free treatment. Patients will not remember most of the procedure with this sedation, but can still respond to the dentist, ensuring that the procedure is performed as efficiently as possible.
Sedation dentists require special training. Dr. Camacho received his American Dental Association certificate in conscious sedation during his extensive residency program at VCU.
Conscious sedation is safe and effective for most patients with a very low risk of complications. A dentist will decide which type of sedation is best for each patient based on the complexity of the condition and treatment, and on the patient’s personal preference. Patients will need someone to drive them to and from their appointment, and should avoid driving for the rest of the day after treatment. It is common to experience mild nausea from the sedation, but this usually passes quickly.
Oral medication 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 the treatment to create a relaxed, anxiety-free state. While it does not produce full amnesia of the procedure, it can produce some memory loss of the surgery. Side effects may be deemed desirable in that sleepiness and some amnesia are likely to occur.
Some patients may be sedated using nitrous oxide, also known as laughing gas, to achieve a relaxed sensation with full memory of the procedure. The gas is inhaled through a nose piece during a procedure. Benefits of this type of sedation is that it is easy to administer, has very little side effects, and is quickly removed from the body once discontinued.