Understanding the Difference Between Mild, Moderate and Deep Sedation

The type of dental sedation that a dentist is likely to use will depend on a number of factors, such as the age of the patient, his or her anxiety level, and the scope of the dental treatment being performed, explains Cranbury sedation dentistry expert Dr. Rekha Patil. At Dr. Patil’s office, Windsor Kids Dental, three different types of sedation are commonly used: mild, moderate, and deep sedation. All three types of sedation can be done in-office, which is good news for patients who feel hesitant to have their dental work done at a hospital or large medical facility.

Mild sedation, in particular, tends to be the best option for patients who are only slightly anxious about the procedures they are going through. Dr. Patil explains that patients going under mild sedation will be directed to inhale a specific type of gas, usually known as nitrous oxide. Nitrous oxide, also known as laughing gas, is the preferred sedation option for someone who is cooperative but also a little bit anxious about an upcoming dental procedure. The gas itself will not put the person to sleep, but it will calm him or her down.

Moderate sedation, meanwhile, is a little bit stronger than some of the milder alternatives. Patients undergoing moderate sedation will generally take an oral medication that makes them somewhat drowsy – although not necessarily sleepy – for the duration of their treatments. Dr. Patil says that moderate sedation, also known as oral sedation, is slightly deeper than mild sedation. While patients under moderate sedation do not fall asleep entirely, the sedation itself does have an amnesic effect that makes it difficult for people to remember what they went through while they were being sedated.

Finally, the Cranbury sedation dentistry expert says deep sedation is something similar to general anesthesia. Patients who go under deep sedation will usually be asleep for the duration of their dental treatments, and Dr. Patil says most procedures can be done under general anesthesia these days.

As a sedation dentistry expert in Cranbury, Dr. Patil decides which of the three sedation options will work best based on a patient’s based on his or her anxiety level and behavior. Patients who are not cooperative because they are so fearful usually need a higher level of sedation to calm their nerves. For more information on the benefits and drawbacks of sedation dentistry in Cranbury, Dr. Patil recommends contacting her office to learn whether mild, moderate, or deep sedation might be right for you.

*Disclaimer: The information on this website is not intended to substitute for the medical expertise and advice of your healthcare provider. We encourage you to discuss any decisions about treatment or care with an appropriate healthcare provider.

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