Dr. Judith Mamah



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Dentistry Changing Lives

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121 Elm Avenue Hackensack, NJ  07601

Sedation Dentistry

Wake up with a Beautiful Smile!


Conscious Sedation is defined as a minimally depressed level of consciousness that retains the patient's ability to independently and continuously maintain an airway and respond appropriately to physical stimulation and verbal command and that is produced by pharmacological or non-pharmacologic method or combination thereof.


The Term "sleep dentistry" is  inappropriate. Unlike General Anesthesia where a patient is completely unconscious, asleep, and unable to respond, patients under Conscious Sedation are never meant to sleep through their dental appointments and are able to respond to verbal commands and breath on their own.


Sedation Dentistry, sometimes referred to as "Comfortable"or "Relaxation" Dentistry, the terms describe the feeling most patients experience during their oral sedation appointments. The purpose of oral sedation is to allow a dentist to work more effectively by helping a patient become as comfortable as possible through the use of sedative medications administered orally or Sublingually.


Oral Conscious Sedation allows patients to get their much needed care and pain free dentistry, without the use of an additional needle. Oral sedation drugs, such as diazepam, triazolam, and zaleplon are taken by mouth beginning the morning of or the night before treatment to induce minimal to moderate sedation. Medications may also be administered immediately before the appointment and throughout longer treatments to ensure that a patient’s comfort level is maintained. Oral sedation, often leaves a patient with little-to-no memory of their dental procedure by the next day, including the sights, sounds, and smells. Patients often describe oral sedation as the experience of being asleep but are able to move, speak, and respond to verbal requests.


Which patients benefit  the most from sedation?


Oral Sedation dentistry can benefit a wide range of patients, including people with:


  •         High dental anxiety and fear
  •         A severe gag reflex
  •         Time constraints - those who need  to get more dentistry done in fewer visits
  •         Chronic or acute jaw soreness
  •         Physical limitations such as back and neck problems
  •         Difficulty getting numb
  •         Extensive treatment needs
  •         A desire to have dentistry done comfortably while they are fully relaxed


Nitrous Oxide, anxiety-free sedation, sleep dentistry, IV sedation, and oral sedation dentistry, are all terms used to describe sedation delivery methods and the effects of these modalities. The method that is right for each patient depends on a host of factors such as fear level, extent of treatment, and medical history.


Nitrous Oxide, or inhalation sedation, is perhaps the most common form of sedation in dentistry. It is continuously delivered during the treatment through a nasal hood or nasal mask system at a low concentration, creating relaxation while the patient is still completely aware of what is happening. It has the added benefit of providing slight numbing to the gum tissues and is often used during anesthetic injections.


IV sedation uses intravenous access to deliver medication directly into the bloodstream. This creates a profound and immediate result and can induce a state of conscious-like sleep. It requires a high level of training, skill, and monitoring and is often used when a patient’s fear level is extremely high.


For most forms of sedation, a companion is required to drive a patient to and from their dental treatment. The medications typically wear off within 24 hours with little to no chance of side effects. Terminology for the science of sedation is disputed. The term “sleep dentistry” is often considered to be inaccurate. For clarity, many state boards require that the term only be applied to the use of IV sedation. The type and level of sedation appropriate for each patient varies and should be determined by a qualified sedation dentist. All medical conditions as well as medications, vitamins, and supplements should be discussed to ensure the safest and most comfortable dental experience possible. For more information, set up a free consultation appointment with Dr. Mamah by calling 201-340-5368

121 Elm Avenue Hackensack, NJ  07601 • 201-343-4302 • DesigningSmilesDental.com

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