Sedation Dentistry – Major Dental Procedures Performed While You Sleep

Posted: January 18, 2018

Sedation Dentistry – Major Dental Procedures Performed While You Sleep

Sleep Dentistry

Dr. Kodish elects to use sedation dentistry techniques on his patients while performing certain dental procedures. Sedation dentistry refers to the use of anesthesia – putting a patient in a relaxed, sleep-like state –  for major dental procedures which require extensive amounts of time in the dentist’s chair.

The sedation of choice depends on the patient’s type and length of the procedure, their level of anxiety and their medical history. Some need just an oral sedative to relax; others may prefer ‘laughing gas’. Deep sedation is a necessary option for procedures that are unusually long or complicated.

Sedation Dentistry is Ideal For Patients Who:

  • Experience high anxiety
  • Have difficulties staying still throughout a dental procedure
  • Have a severe dental phobia
  • Have had traumatic dental experiences in the past
  • Have difficulty getting numb
  • Are afraid of needles
  • Have sensitive teeth
  • Have complex dental issues
  • Have a limited amount of time to complete dental work

Degrees of Sedation

  • Light sedation or Anxiolysis helps the patient to relax.
  • Conscious sedation is when the patient is awake and able to respond to commands in an extreme state of relaxation.
  • Deep sedation is the state between conscious and unconscious sedation. Patients will likely respond purposefully to commands and may need breathing assistance.
  • Unconscious sedation is reserved for oral surgeries. Patients will need assistance breathing with mechanical ventilation and will not be able to respond to any commands.

Types of Dental Sedation Used

  • Oral sedative medications can be given the night before a dental procedure or right before. The dosage and when to administer these oral sedatives will depend on a patient’s level of anxiety. Oral sedatives merely calm nerves, so a local anesthetic will also be delivered to relieve pain.
  • (IV), Intravenous sedation will not provide pain relief. It will be administered in conjunction with a local anesthetic as well.
  • Nitrous oxide is a popular form of sedation, commonly known as laughing gas. It induces relaxation as a local anesthetic relieves the pain.
  • General anesthesia does not require a local anesthetic since it will make the patient unaware of their surroundings and unable to feel pain.
  • Deep Sedation

How Deep Sedation Differs from Oral Sedatives, Intravenous Sedation, Nitrous Oxide, and General Anesthesia

Deep sedation is a drug-induced depression of consciousness given as an IV injection, shot, pill or inhalant. It will keep the patient asleep and comfortable and prevent them from remembering the procedure or treatment. The patient cannot be easily awakened but can respond purposefully following repeated and painful stimulation. As with general anesthesia, during deep sedation, the patient often requires assistance in maintaining ventilatory function.

Your dentist should help you understand that deep sedation manifests less risk than general anesthesia or IV sedation since the patient can respond to repeated and painful stimulation. However, if a patient elects for general anesthesia instead, they must acknowledge and accept any possible risks or side effects from preoperative or postoperative general anesthesia before the procedure can take place. When properly administered, general anesthesia is safe. Side effects include dizziness, nausea, vomiting and memory loss.

How to Prepare For Sedation

Your dentist will explain how to prepare for deep sedation and address any questions or concerns you might have about being sedated. Your medical history will be reviewed, including if you have any allergies, breathing problems or heart problems. You will be instructed not to eat or drink anything 8 – 12 hours before the procedure.

What to Expect During Deep Sedation

Your dentist will administer enough medicine based on your height and weight to keep you asleep and comfortable. The dentist will monitor blood pressure, breathing, and heart rate throughout the entire procedure. A heart monitor will be used to record your heart’s electrical activity continuously, and a pulse oximeter will measure the amount of oxygen in your blood. If breathing is troublesome on your own, a ventilator will be used to provide oxygen and help with breathing.

The dentist monitors your breathing and oxygen levels as you awaken, supplying oxygen if needed. You may be able to go home once you are alert and standing up. You will need someone to drive you. Once at home, you may feel sleepy and need frequent naps throughout the rest of the day.

Are There Risks With Deep Sedation?

Not really. While deep sedation may cause headaches and nausea, it is a far safer method of sedation than general anesthesia. Discuss with your doctor why deep sedation could be a better choice for you when having a dental procedure.

Dental Services Fort Lauderdale

Dr. Gary Kodish has experience in the methods of sedation dentistry.  We will provide you with expert dental care in our welcoming office. Dr. Kodish offers financing plans.

Dr. Gary Kodish welcomes you to Kodish Dental Group. Here is Fort Lauderdale, Dr. Gary Kodish and his team believe in providing patients with the best treatment available. We support a ‘full care’ dentistry environment, meaning that we will recommend the services needed to bring your smile to a state of optimal health, as well as provide you with a personalized prevention plan to address further concerns. This level of dental care is the dental care we would give members of our own family!

Please contact us at 954-462-5252 today to schedule your first appointment. Visit our website.


The Kodish Dental Group
301 SE 16th St
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33316



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Categories: Blog, Sleep Dentistry

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