When it comes to maintaining optimal oral health, several components are involved. Your oral care starts at home with twice daily brushing and once daily flossing. It is also important to maintain regular dental visits for professional cleanings and exams as well. Skipping any part of your oral care routine can quickly lead to oral health issues such as periodontal disease, infections and more. Any issues with your mouth need to be treated right away. Ignoring the need for treatment can mean a significant worsening of the condition and the need for more invasive treatments. However, some patients are fearful or anxious about the idea of dental treatments. Even knowing the consequences of their specific issues is not enough to get them in the chair for treatment. At Oregon Periodontics, P.C., we can help. If you are feeling nervous or anxious about a necessary periodontal procedure, we can provide you with conscious sedation.
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What Is Conscious Sedation?
When you experience issues with your mouth, the idea of needing a dental procedure can be nerve-wracking. Some patients experience mild anxiety, while others may experience extreme fear. Sedation provides a way for anxious and fearful patients to get the treatments they need while allowing them to remain completely calm and relaxed. With conscious sedation, you get these benefits while remaining conscious.
Aiding those with fear or anxiety is one reason to opt for sedation. Conscious sedation can also be used if you:
|Have a very low pain threshold.
|Your teeth are extremely sensitive.
|You have a bad gag reflex.
|You find it difficult to sit still in the dental chair.
|You need a significant amount of work or your procedure will be lengthy.
You may be more familiar with nitrous oxide under the name of laughing gas. This type of sedation is considered minimal and is the lightest form of sedation available. There are no medications to take or needles to insert. Nitrous oxide is an inhaled gas, which is administered via a small mask secured over the nose. When you arrive for your appointment, the mask is placed. Both nitrous oxide and oxygen are turned on. Once you begin inhaling the gas, it takes very little time for sedation to take effect. You are completely conscious but completely relaxed. You can answer questions and respond to requests. Once your procedure is over, the nitrous oxide is turned off, but oxygen remains on for a few more minutes. The effects of sedation wear off almost immediately. In most cases, you can even drive yourself home.
Oral Conscious Sedation
Oral conscious sedation is a type of moderate sedation. It involves the use of a prescribed medication that is taken an hour orally before your scheduled procedure. It usually takes about 30 minutes for the medication to start working, although the exact time varies from patient to patient. For this reason, you must have someone drive you to your appointment. Oral sedation keeps you conscious, but you are more out of it. You may even experience temporary amnesia and may not remember your procedure. You will need to have a driver to take you home following your procedure, as it can take several hours for the effects to wear off.
IV sedation is another type of moderate sedation. It can also be used for deep, or twilight, sedation as well as general anesthesia. This sedation is administered through an IV, directly into the bloodstream. You do not have to worry about taking a pill before coming in. The effects of IV sedation take effect within seconds. Moderate IV sedation has similar effects to those of oral conscious sedation. Moreover, much like oral conscious sedation, you will need to have a driver take you home after your procedure as the effects of sedation can take several hours to vacate your system.
Conscious sedation can help you to relax and remain comfortable in the chair while we perform your necessary procedures. For more information, and to find out if conscious sedation is right for you, call Oregon Periodontics, P.C. today at (503) 575-7750.