Here is what you need to know about dental sedation and dental anesthesia. 

Dental sedation vs. dental anesthesia

Dental sedation vs. dental anesthesia


OMG Admin

August 04,2021

Every year nine to 20 percent of Americans do not see a dentist because of dental anxiety. This fear is steamed from their fear of feeling pain or a bad dental experience. However, not seeing a dentist puts their oral health at risk of developing serious health problems. 

That is why it is important for patients to know about the different types of dental techniques, like dental sedation and anesthesia available for reducing anxiety and preventing pain. Our sedation dentistry Dallas TX team has outlined what patients should know about dental anesthesia and dental sedation. 

Dental anesthesia

Dental anesthesia is used to describe the dental techniques used to manage pain during a dental procedure or surgery. The term dental anesthesia normally refers to local or general anesthesia. The goal of dental anesthesia is to block pain through the use of drugs called anesthetics. Depending on the kind of dental anesthesia used, it may cause patients to remain awake or completely fall asleep. 

The different types of dental anesthesia

Local anesthesia 

Local anesthesia is the use of medication to block pain in a specific area of the mouth. How it works is a dentist will inject the drug into the mouth, blocking the nerves from feeling or transmitting pain. This form of anesthesia is the most commonly used. Dentists use local anesthesia for:

General anesthesia

General anesthesia is the use of medication injected or breathed through anesthesia gas that causes a patient to go completely unconscious. This kind of anesthesia is more commonly used in hospital settings but can be used in serious dental procedures. It is required to be performed by an anesthesiologist with the correct equipment. 

Dental Sedation

Dental sedation is various dental techniques used to help patients remain calm and comfortable before and after dental procedures. It is important to know that dental sedation does not completely block pain but impairs a person’s conscious level. Dentists usually use dental sedation in combination with local anesthesia.

The different levels of dental sedation

There are three levels of sedation that include minimal, moderate and deep sedation. Minimal sedation keeps the patient relaxed and in a minimally depressed level of consciousness. Moderate sedation causes the patient to get sleepy but still able to respond to commands. Deep sedation causes patients to fall into a sleep-like state but still be able to respond to sharp touch. 

What is the difference between dental anesthesia and dental sedation? 

Many people tend to confuse dental anesthesia with dental sedation. However, there is a difference. Anesthesia blocks pain, and dental sedation blocks anxiety. Local anesthesia is used in all oral surgeries. In contrast, dental sedation is only used when a dentist believes the patient needs extra help relaxing. In order for dentists to provide dental sedation to patients, they need to get certified by a sedation dentistry Dallas TX educator. 

Take the best sedation dentistry Dallas, TX course!

At Midwest Sedation Consultants, we provide Level 1 sedation recertification courses online. Our classes cover sedation and general anesthesia continuum and the importance of early recognition and treatment for unexpected responses to Level 1 sedation. Register for a course here!