Sedation Dentistry Milwaukee, WI

Sedation Dentistry in Milwaukee — Addressing the Anxiety

Because our family has been taking care of people’s teeth since 1922, the date our grandfather started his dental practice in Milwaukee, we know all about dental anxiety. For some, the thought of a trip to the dentist can create dread akin to sitting in the theater at the latest horror movie. There’s no explaining it — it could be the sound of a drill, the pulling down of the hanging dental light, maybe even the overall smell of the office — but the fear is real. At Hampton Dental Associates, we treat our patients like our family, so we do everything we can to make you feel at ease in our offices. To that end, we offer sedation dentistry.

What is sedation dentistry?

Sedation dentistry involves the use of medications to keep patients relaxed during dental procedures. Sedation dentistry doesn’t really include general anesthesia (although it is a level of sedation), because in sedation dentistry patients are usually awake and able to respond to requests from the dentist. The sedation simply allows the patient to relax and overcome his or her anxiety.

What are the levels of sedation?

There are four levels of sedation:

Minimal Sedation

Under minimal sedation, you are awake but relaxed.

Moderate Sedation

This used to be called “conscious sedation.” You may slur your words when talking and not remember most of what occurred during the procedure.

Deep Sedation

In deep sedation, you are on the edge of consciousness but can still be awakened.

General Anesthesia

You’re completely unconscious.

What types of sedation are used?

Inhaled minimal sedation involves breathing nitrous oxide, also known as “laughing gas,” to help the patient relax. Nitrous oxide is combined with oxygen and the patient breathes it through a mask placed over the nose. The gas wears off quickly and the patient usually can drive home following the procedure.

Oral sedation can be minimal to moderate. The patient takes a pill (usually Halcion, in the same drug family as Valium) usually about 30 minutes before the procedure. The pill makes the patient drowsy. Oral sedation is most commonly associated with sedation dentistry.

IV sedation works more quickly as the sedative drug is given through a vein. The method allows the dentist to adjust sedation levels continually.

Deep sedation and general anesthesia are delivered intravenously, as well. A patient under general anesthesia cannot be awakened easily until the anesthesia wears off or is reversed using a different medication.

We use sedation with medication and nitrous oxide at Hampton Dental Associates and for more complex surgeries we refer to our specialists when I.V. sedation is required.


Call (414) 464-9021 for information on any of our services.


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