William T. Schlosser, DMD, Ltd.
Combining the Art and Science of Dental Care
Call (217) 793-7899

Minimal Sedation Dentistry

What is Minimal Sedation Dentistry?

A significant number of Americans don't visit the dentist for regular checkups, because they are too fearful or suffer from dental anxiety.  Minimal Sedation Dentistry offers an excellent way to provide a safe, anxiety-free, dental experience to those who are afraid of the dentist.

Sedation dentistry is often mistakenly thought to induce sleep.  In fact, most sedatives allow the patient to stay awake during the procedure.  Sleepiness is a side effect of some medications, but Nitrous Oxide, Minimal Sedation and IV Sedation only work to calm anxiety throughout the dental visit.

Minimal Sedation Dentistry is popular, because most sedatives can be taken by mouth, meaning no IV needles, no anxiety and no pain.  Some sedatives work so effectively that even the smells and details of the procedure cannot be recalled afterwards.  A cooperative and calm environment offers both the patient and the dentist a safe, efficient treatment experience.

Whatever the form of sedative, it is essential to be accompanied by a caregiver.  Sometimes, sedatives are provided the night before the dental visit, which means that driving to or from the appointment is not advisable.


What kind of sedation is available in our office?

Minimal Sedation

Minimal Sedation is an excellent choice for people who fear needles.  Oral medication is provided prior to treatment in order to induce a moderate state of sedation.  Though oral sedatives do not cause sleep, they usually dull the senses.  This means that most patients cannot remember the details, smells or noises associated with the procedure.  Usually, a dose of medication is taken prior to the appointment, and additional doses are administered during treatment, as required.  For your safety, vital signs are monitored throughout the visit.

Here are some advantages associated with Minimal Sedation Dentistry in our office:

  • Anxiety is alleviated.
  • Few side effects.
  • More can be accomplished during each visit.
  • No IVs.
  • Little to no memory of the procedure.
  • Procedures seem to take less time.


What types of drugs are used in Minimal Sedation?

Most of the drugs used in sedation dentistry are classified as benzodiazepines.  Benzodiazepines reduce anxiety, muscle spasms, insomnia and seizures.  Each medication has a different half-life, meaning that the effects last for varying amounts of time.  The estimated length of the procedure determines which type of drug is going to be most effective.


Advantages of Minimal Sedation

Minimal Sedation is an excellent choice for patients who have any of the following concerns:

  • Dental Anxiety
  • Difficulty Getting Numb
  • Strong Gag Response
  • Very Sensitive Teeth
  • Extensive Dental Needs
  • Discomfort with Needles and Shots  


Alternatives to Minimal Sedation

Minimal Sedation is not for everyone.  In fact, many of our patients with some dental anxiety decide not to use  sedation.  These patients often tell us that our caring, gentle approach provides them with a relaxing, pleasant experience even without sedation.  The choice is really yours.

Please contact us to see if Minimal Sedation may be appropriate for you.  We will gladly discuss your needs in an understanding way.