One thing many patients to our Quincy, MA dental practice are surprised to learn is that sedation dentistry is not a one-size-fits-all experience. Every patient is an individual, with their own reasons and need for sedation during dental care. To keep everyone happy and healthy, the level of sedation is tailored to meet a patient’s specific needs: this ensures no one is under or over-sedated.
There are four levels of sedation dentistry. Sedation is used to control the level of consciousness, while a local anesthetic is used to control pain where the care is being done.
Level One is known as Minimal Sedation. The patient is awake but relaxed. This is ideal for the patient who experiences mild to moderate levels of anxiety regarding dental care, who is having care with minimal pain levels associated with treatment – such as a cleaning.
Level Two is Moderate Sedation. Even though the patient is awake, it is very common for patients to not remember any of the procedure they have while under Moderate Sedation. Moderate sedation is ideal for patients who have elevated levels of anxiety and who may need more extensive dental care.
Level Three is Deep Sedation. It is very common for patients to fall asleep during deep sedation. They can easily be awoken when the procedure is completed. Most patients retain absolutely no memory of the procedure or any associated discomfort.
Level Four is General Anesthesia. This is reserved for more involved cases, where the patient needs to be completely unconscious for a prolonged period of time.
What level of sedation is right for you? The best way to answer that question is in consultation with your Quincy dentist. Choosing the right level will allow you to get the care you need in the comfort you deserve.