Ensuring Comfort at the Dentist One Patient at a Time with Sedation Dentistry

At Chestnut Ridge Dental we treat patients of all ages, backgrounds, and histories. That includes those with a fear of the dentist, children, the elderly, adults with special needs, and those who are considered neuroatypical or “on the spectrum”.  In order to accommodate all types of patients, and to ensure their comfort as well as their oral health, we are pleased to offer Sedation Dentistry with a Dental Anesthesiologist on staff. 

Dr. Jonathan Mendia is our licensed Dental Anesthesiologist.  He earned his Doctorate of Dental Medicine from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and then completed a two-year post-doctoral residency in Dental Anesthesiology at the University of Pittsburgh School of Dental Medicine in conjunction with the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC).  There are only six Dental Anesthesiology programs of this kind in the country that provide such vigorous training!

So, what are Sedation Dentistry and Dental Anesthesiology? 

Dental Anesthesiology, or Sedation dentistry, is the most advanced form of dental sedation. It combines sedative and pain-relieving drugs are given orally or intravenously to create a dream-like state of deep, calm relaxation for an entire dental procedure. Sedation can be used for everything from invasive procedures to a simple tooth cleaning. The level of sedation depends on the severity of fear or need and how invasive your procedure is.

The Levels of Sedation Include:

  • Minimal sedation — you are awake but relaxed.
  • Moderate sedation (formerly called “conscious sedation”) — you may slur your words when speaking and not remember much of the procedure.
  • Deep sedation — you are on the edge of consciousness but can still be awakened.
  • General anesthesia — you are completely unconscious.

What Types of Sedation Are Used in Dentistry?

  • Inhaled minimal sedation. You breathe nitrous oxide — commonly known as “laughing gas” — combined with oxygen through a mask that’s placed over your nose. The gas helps you relax.
  • Oral sedation. Depending on the total dose given, oral sedation can range from minimal to moderate. For minimal sedation, you take a pill. This is the type of anesthesia most commonly associated with sedation dentistry. 
  • IV moderate sedation. You receive the sedative drug through a vein, so it goes to work more quickly. This method allows the dentist to continually adjust the level of sedation.
  • Deep sedation and general anesthesia. You will get medications that will make you either almost unconscious or totally unconscious — deeply asleep — during the procedure. While you are under general anesthesia, you cannot easily be awakened until the effects of the anesthesia wear off or are reversed with medication.

After your Procedure

When waking up, patients usually have no memory of the noises, smells, needles, or drilling that took place during treatment. Patients feel like they’ve had a deep and satisfying sleep – like no time has passed at all! No pain, discomfort or fear. Furthermore, sedation recovery time typically only lasts 30 to 45 minutes after the procedure is complete. After that, you’re free to return home. 

Benefits of Sedation Dentistry: 

  • Increased patient comfort and relaxation 
  • Little or no memory of treatment 
  • Control of gag reflex 
  • Movement control 
  • Decreased pain sensitivity 
  • Time-saving- allowing dental treatment to be accomplished in fewer visits, sometimes as little as one visit 

How do I make sure I receive Sedation Dentistry during my visit? 

At Chestnut Ridge Dental, we are proud to offer dental anesthesiology services to a wide variety of patients. All you need to do is tell us beforehand and we’ll make sure to take care of all the scheduling details and forms.

Coupled with our warm and welcoming staff and doctors, sedation dentistry allows us to treat every patient in a manner where they feel most comfortable. Book an appointment today to find out why our patients love us! 


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