Dentists in Tampa can offer levels of sedation, from minimal to general. Under minimal sedation, a patient will be fully awake, but will experience a feeling of relaxation. Moderate sedation involves the typical aspects of sedation that people are accustomed to seeing: slurred words, loss of memory in regards to what occurred in the procedure, and more. Deep sedation involves being on the edge of consciousness, though easily awoken. General anesthesia causes a patient to become fully unconscious, and is not as common as the lower levels unless a procedure is more invasive or painful.
Along with different levels of sedation, a dentist can also offer different forms of sedation. These include inhaled minimal sedation, oral sedation, IV moderate sedation, and deep sedation. Inhaled minimal sedation involves inhalation of nitrous oxide or laughing gas. This nitrous oxide is combined with oxygen, and accessed through a mask positioned over the nose. It wears off quickly, and patients may even be able to drive themselves home afterwards. Oral sedation can range in intensity level, and is a result of ingestion of a pill similar to Valium. It causes drowsiness and grogginess, but not always actual sleep. IV moderate sedation is delivered to the body through a vein, and begins to work much more quickly than other forms. IV sedation also allows frequent adjustment of intensity, if needed. Deep sedation is general anesthesia, and can only be reversed with medication or allowing the anesthesia to wear off over time. On top of these forms of anesthesia, a local anesthetic will also be used to numb the area of the mouth that is going to be worked on. This will relieve any pain. Many people are eligible for sedation dentistry, but it is best for people with an irrational fear or high amount of anxiety. People with a low pain threshold, the inability to remain still during a procedure, intense tooth sensitivity, a bad gag reflex, or requiring a large amount of dental work are also candidates for sedation dentistry.