Sedation Dentistry in South Jordan, Utah

Many people have a fear of the dentist, but that shouldn’t prevent you from getting the dental care you need. At Copper Creek Dental, we’re experienced in providing safe and effective conscious IV sedation for anxious patients and complex surgeries in South Jordan’s Daybreak and its surrounding communities. We offer several types of sedation to help you feel as relaxed as possible during your dental procedure.

What Is Sedation Dentistry?

Sedation dentistry involves using medications to help you feel calm and relaxed during dental treatments. There are four general levels of sedation.

The deepest level is general anesthesia where you are fully asleep under the careful watch of an experienced anesthesiologist. We use general anesthesia in cases where conscious sedation would be difficult to manage.

The lightest level of sedation is called minimal sedation (laughing gas). Minimal sedation will help you relax, but won’t alter memory or give you much of an altered mental state. 

In between minimal sedation and general anesthesia there is a continuum of effects. There are pros and cons to getting more deeply sedated. In dentistry, there are two thresholds of sedation that are recognized between the two ends of the spectrum: deep sedation and moderate conscious sedation.

Deep sedation is closest to general anesthesia. It inhibits protective reflexes like coughing, but unlike general anesthesia doesn’t usually have airway protections in place. Because it removes the body’s natural reflexes and doesn’t provide airway support, we usually avoid deep sedation in our office. 

Moderate conscious sedation provides predictable amnesia and anesthetic effects, but still allows the protective reflexes of the body to be in force. Being in this semi-conscious state eliminates any fear and anxiety you may otherwise feel during a routine dental procedure. Best of all, you won’t remember any of the process. Moderate conscious sedation is a safe way to maximize the benefits of sedation while also minimizing unnecessary risks.

When Is Sedation Needed?

Patients can feel anxious about visiting the dentist for a variety of reasons. A fear of needles, a sensitive gag reflex, and difficulty remaining still can make the thought of sitting in the dentist’s chair unbearable. But avoiding the dentist can have serious consequences for your teeth and gums, including tooth decay and gum disease.

Conscious sedation allows you to undergo simple procedures like cleanings and fillings, as well as more complex treatments without worry. When you’re sedated we are able to work more efficiently, so we can get more done in less time and fewer appointments.

Is Sedation Dentistry Safe?

Your comfort and safety are our top priorities during dental procedures. We are experienced in providing a variety of sedation levels while safely following medical guidelines. When general anesthesia is needed, we bring in our partner team of skilled dental anesthesiologists for assistance.

Types of Sedation

Laughing Gas-Minimal Sedation

Also known as nitrous oxide, laughing gas is a mild sedative that kicks in quickly. You simply wear a mask over your nose and breathe in the gas. We adjust the amount of gas you receive as necessary to keep you relaxed. This form of conscious sedation carries less risk than other types, and is safe for both children and adults. Laughing gas takes little time to wear off, you can drive yourself home after your procedure.

Moderate conscious sedation

The next level of sedation is most often achieved by delivering the medication through an IV. Moderate conscious sedation also takes effect quickly, usually less than 20 seconds, and the amount you receive will always be adjusted to your exact needs.

You will likely fall asleep with moderate conscious sedation, but it is not a paralyzing sleep like with general anesthesia. Patients typically have no memory of the procedure after waking up from moderate sedation. We monitor your vitals during treatment and adjust your dosage as necessary. 

Moderate sedation is typically used for patients with moderate anxiety and simple medical histories. Moderate sedation allows the body to retain its protective reflexes which makes it a safer alternative to deep sedation. Because this level of sedation provides so many benefits with a much lower risk, it is our preferred level of sedation in most cases.

You will need to arrange for someone to take you home after the appointment because it takes several hours for the full sedative effect to wear off.

Deep Sedation

The next level of sedation also requires delivering the medication through an IV. The same drugs are used here as in moderate conscious sedation. The defining difference is that in deep sedation protective reflexes are lost.

Deep sedation provides many of the same benefits as moderate sedation with none of the protections. We believe this is a dangerous place to live. When moderate sedation would likely be insufficient, we bypass this option and move onto general anesthesia.

General Anesthesia

When general anesthesia is needed, we bring in our partner team of skilled dental anesthesiologists for assistance. General anesthesia puts you into a deep sedative state, so we only use this form of sedation for patients with severe dental anxiety or for extremely complex procedures or medical histories. It is a safe process that protects your lungs and airway while your body loses its own protective reflexes. Like moderate and deep sedations, you will have no memory of the procedure and will need a ride home afterward. You will feel more groggy coming out of anesthesia compared to moderate and deep sedation.

Make an Appointment Today

Don’t let your fear of the dentist cost you your oral health. At Copper Creek Dental, we’re prepared to administer any type of sedation you need to keep you comfortable during treatment. From same-day crowns to dental implants, we provide a wide range of services to patients in the South Jordan community with various dental anxiety levels. Call us at 801-280-1911 today to make an appointment.
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