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Sedation Dentistry – St. Louis, MO

Relieve Dental Fear & Pain with Your Oral Surgeon

Relaxed woman in dental chair Many patients experience varying degrees of dental-related anxiety and fear regarding impending oral healthcare. These feelings can be especially prominent when undergoing a more involved oral surgical procedure. Thankfully, Dr. Moreland works hard to promote comfort using dedicated sedative techniques. He helps each patient determine the anesthesia that best fits their personal preferences and overall level of apprehension. If you’d like to learn more about our available offerings or schedule an initial consultation, don’t hesitate to contact our St. Louis, MO oral surgery office. Our team is also always happy to accept referrals from local dentists.

Local Anesthesia

Woman receiving local anesthetic injection

When undergoing local anesthetic, the patient will remain 100% conscious throughout their procedure. Typically, we recommend this method for relatively minor surgery, such as soft tissue procedures or simple tooth extractions. The anesthetic will be administered to the specific area where the surgery will be carried out. By default, our team provides local anesthetic for all oral surgery procedures. It is typically paired with other, more potent levels of sedation/anesthesia.

Nitrous Oxide Sedation

Woman with nitrous oxide mask

Many patients know nitrous oxide by a different name – laughing gas! The gas is mixed with oxygen and then administered to the patient through a nasal mask. Within a few minutes of exposure, the patient should feel calmer and more content while still remaining conscious enough to respond to requests and questions from our team. It also helps with pain maintenance and relaxation. It only takes minutes to recover from nitrous oxide once the mask has been removed, which means that a patient may only need a minimal amount of downtime before being able to return to their regular routine. Our team typically recommends nitrous oxide for the removal of wisdom teeth, the placement of dental implants, and other moderate procedures.

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General Anesthesia

Relaxed patient in dental chair

General anesthesia is a technique that literally helps a patient sleep throughout their procedure and wake up with no memory of it afterward. We offer it for all types of oral surgery, and it’s often recommended for patients who have a mild to severe amount of anxiety heading into a treatment. Many patients who are having their wisdom teeth removed or dental implants placed choose general anesthesia to ensure a smooth and pain-free experience.

IV Sedation

Relaxed woman receiving dental treatment

This technique involves the injection of a thin needle into a vein within the patient’s hand or arm. The needle is attached to an intravenous tube, and medication is delivered directly to the body in order to help patients enter a deep state of comfort. While this sedative technique does not automatically render patients unconscious, it is likely that they will still have very few memories (if any) of their procedure after recovery. Dr. Moreland is trained to administer IV sedation/anesthesia personally.

Sedation Dentistry FAQs

A patient under sedation while a dentist performs dental work

As you prepare for your upcoming oral surgery, you probably have questions about the various sedation methods used. Dr. Moreland is pleased to offer everything from local anesthesia and nitrous oxide to IV sedation and general anesthesia. Since you are likely wondering what to expect and whether these forms of sedation are right for you, he and his team have compiled some frequently asked questions for you to review before your appointment. Feel free to contact us with any additional questions you might have about your upcoming experience.

Is sedation dentistry safe?

Yes! Sedation dentistry not only provides anxious patients with a way to achieve full relaxation during an appointment, but it also makes it possible for Dr. Moreland to do his work more efficiently and effectively without interruption. For years, sedation dentistry has proven to be safe and effective, improving the experiences of patients dealing with dental anxiety, a fear of needles, and even past trauma.

Am I a good candidate for oral conscious sedation?

If you have experienced or currently experience any of the following, it is possible you may qualify for dental sedation:

  • You have dental anxiety or phobia
  • You suffer from sensitive teeth or gums or have a serious gag reflex
  • You live with physical or cognitive impairment making it difficult to undergo regular dental treatment or oral surgery
  • You are preparing for multiple oral surgeries, which are to be completed during one appointment

Will I remember anything from my procedure?

This is dependent upon the type of sedation you receive. For patients undergoing nitrous oxide, it is possible you may remember bits of your appointment; however, it will be minimal, as you will remain fully relaxed and almost in a dream-like state. When receiving IV sedation, you will feel as if you are being “put under,” but you will remain cognizant enough to respond to cues. However, you may only recall brief memories or none at all from your visit.

If you receive local anesthesia, you will remain fully conscious but feel no pain whatsoever. Should you undergo wisdom teeth removal and receive general anesthesia, you will sleep through your procedure and remember virtually nothing about your appointment.

How long will it take for the effects to wear off?

Again, this is dependent upon the type of sedation you receive. With nitrous oxide, the effects will begin to dissipate immediately following Dr. Moreland turning off the gas. With IV sedation, it is necessary to have someone escort you to and from your appointment because you’ll be at home sleeping the rest of the day until the effects wear off.

With local or general anesthesia, the post-procedure effects can last anywhere from half an hour to 20 hours or more. Your oral surgeon will explain what you can expect when detailing your procedure and the type of sedation you will receive. This will allow you to better plan for your post-operation recovery ahead of time.