Unfortunately, we understand that some people experience fear or anxiety when they think about a trip to the dentist. In some cases, these phobias can even prevent a person from receiving the dental care they need to maintain proper oral health. At Smiles LA, we offer sedation dentistry to create a more comfortable and enjoyable experience for our patients.
You, too, may qualify for sedation dentistry, especially if your anxiety dictates the frequency of your visits. During your next appointment, ask us about your sedation options. Dr. Michel H. Elyson, DDS, FICOI and the rest of our team have received extensive training for the safe and effective use of several types of sedation.
Levels of Sedation
There are four major levels of sedation:
||Minimal Sedation: Awake but in a more relaxed state
||Moderate Sedation: Affects your motor skills and memory of the procedure
||Deep Sedation: A “twilight” state on the edge of consciousness
||General Anesthesia: Completely unconscious
The level of sedation you receive depends on the medication we use, and the severity of your anxiety. Patients with significant anxiety may need to be placed in a deeper level of sedation. Regardless of the sedation you receive, most medications are used in conjunction with a local anesthetic. A local anesthetic numbs your mouth to reduce or eliminate pain and discomfort.
Nitrous oxide, commonly known as "laughing gas," is the most common type of dental sedation. Patients who undergo nitrous oxide sedation report feelings of euphoria and deep relaxation. The gas also takes and loses effect almost instantly, making it the only sedation that does not require you to arrange a ride after your appointment.
The gas is administered through a facemask that is placed over the nose at the beginning of the procedure. Once we complete the procedure, we pump oxygen through the mask to reduce or eliminate post-operative side effects. Nitrous oxide is easy to control with minimal side-effects, making it one of the safest and most effective ways to eliminate anxiety.
Oral, or enteral sedation is also extremely common in dentistry. This type of sedation typically comes in the form of a pill or liquid. Medications like Halcion or Valium may be the best way to achieve minimal to moderate levels of relaxation. The medication typically makes you drowsy or groggy, but still alert enough to answer questions and understand your surroundings.
Schedule Your Appointment
If you would like to learn more about sedation dentistry, call 323-263-2125, and schedule your appointment today!