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Anesthesia vs Sedation Dentistry

Patients of all ages may feel nervous before undergoing dental work. Dentists recognize this and have developed methods to keep patients, both young and old, comfortable during their procedures.

There are several relaxation methods your dentist might suggest, depending on your medical history and unique dental needs. Dr. Allie Miller, a pediatric dentist in Winter Park, FL, describes the difference between anesthesia and sedation dentistry treatments.

dental sedation treatments in Winter Park Florida

Local Anesthetic

A local anesthetic is a type of medication administered via injection to a nerve in the site where the dental work will occur. The anesthetic numbs the area by blocking the nerve from sending pain signals to the brain when stimulated.

This treatment allows a patient to feel no pain during a dental procedure without affecting their consciousness. A dentist may also apply a topical anesthetic to the injection site for additional comfort for the patient before using the needle.

Sedation Treatment Options

Sedation dentistry refers to specified medicinal options intended to help a patient relax during their dental procedure. These medications can affect your awareness of your surroundings, but you can discuss the level of consciousness you would prefer with your dentist.

Sedation can be administered in several different ways, depending on the patient’s comfort. Your dentist may offer an oral sedative, which involves a tablet taken before your dentist appointment. Awareness levels can range, depending on the strength of the tablet, from fully conscious but calm to deeply sedated.

Nitrous oxide, or laughing gas, can allow a patient to relax while remaining conscious and is delivered through a mask worn over the nose or mouth. The effects of this medication will wear off once the mask is removed after the procedure.

General Anesthesia

General anesthesia allows a patient to be unconscious for the duration of their dental work. This treatment is usually reserved for invasive procedures or patients with extreme anxiety.

The anesthesia is administered intravenously in most cases. The effects will begin to wear off once the medication ceases, but the patient will likely feel groggy and disoriented for the rest of the day.

Sedation Dentistry Available in Winter Park, FL

Pediatric Dentistry of Winter Park offers sedation for patients with dental fear in Winter Park, FL. Dr. Miller specializes in cosmetic and restorative pediatric dentistry, including both preventative and emergency dental care. To schedule an appointment with us, contact our office online or reach us by phone at 407.434.0267.