What is Sedation Dentistry?
The patient is given oral medication about one hour before your appointment. The medicine puts you in a light state of sedation and you sleep through your dental appointment. It is safe! When you awaken your dental treatment is completed.
You need someone to drive you to and from your appointment. Once you arrive, you are allowed to rest comfortably in a warm, quiet room under a cozy blanket. During the entire time you are here, we will closely monitor you to ensure your safety.
Complex dental treatments that often require six or more appointments can be done in as little as one.
If you have ever avoided getting much needed dental care out of fear or anxiety, or if the thought of going to the dentist makes you anxious or nervous, then sedation dentistry could be for you. Sedation dentistry allows a patient to be calm and drowsy while still remaining in control.
For many people, the thought of dental treatment causes extreme anxiety, and even total avoidance of care, to the detriment of their appearance, their health, and their comfort. Such feelings and emotions often originate from traumatic past experiences in childhood, and this becomes a learned event, bringing up feelings of fear and anxiety whenever any of the unpleasant parts of the past experience are encountered in the present. Thus, everything from smells, sights, sounds, or thoughts of the dental setting can cause extreme levels of fear and anxiety to surface. Indeed, many people don't even remember a single past event in their lives to explain these feelings, because such learned fears may be vicarious experiences from parents or siblings, friends, or even the media, such as films, cartoons, or advertisements.
You may want to consider sedation dentistry for the following:
- High anxiety patients
- Fear of needles and drills
- Past bad dental experiences
- Complicated dental treatments can be completed in as little as one visit
- Bad gag reflex
- Resistance to anesthetics
- Aversion to dental sounds and smells
Oral Conscious Sedation
If the idea of going to the dentist for a procedure brings on feelings of fear or anxiety there are options to ease the anxiety. Oral conscious sedation is as easy as taking an aspirin and you will feel relaxed and at ease. Oral conscious sedation does not "knock you out" like some other forms of anesthesia. You will remain awake during your procedure, but you will be in a heightened state of relaxation. It is also possible that you will not remember part, or all, of your procedure.
Oral conscious sedation is extremely safe and easy. It is much less expensive than other forms of sedation, and you will be able to talk and breathe on your own during the procedure. It also makes long or complex procedures seem shorter, allowing you to have all of your work done in a single visit. As an added precaution a local anesthetic will be given to the area that is being worked on to ensure that there is no pain. You will need to have someone drive you to and from the office if you use oral conscious sedation for your safety.
Don't wait any longer to have necessary dental work performed because you are nervous. Ask your dentist about oral conscious sedation to see if it is right for you.
If the idea of going to the dentist for a procedure brings on feelings of fear or anxiety there are options to ease the anxiety. IV sedation is very safe and easy and is recommended for moderate to severe anxiety. Medication is given right into your blood stream and it works quickly and effectively. You will remain awake during your procedure, but you will be in a heightened state of relaxation. It is also possible that you will not remember part or all of your procedure afterwards.
IV sedation makes long or complex procedures seem shorter, allowing you to have all of your work done in a single visit in many cases. As an added precaution a local anesthetic will be given to the area that is being worked on to ensure that there is no pain. The benefit of IV sedation is that the level of medication can be adjusted during your procedure to ensure maximum comfort. Your heart rate and breathing are monitored very closely while you are being medicated because your safety is our number one concern.
Don't wait any longer to have necessary dental work performed because you are nervous. Ask your dentist about IV sedation to see if it is right for you.
Anxiolysis is a form of oral sedation using a light sedative, such as valium. It is not as strong as oral conscious sedation, so it is recommended for those with mild to moderate anxiety. You will remain conscious for the procedure, but any tension and anxiety will fade away. You will be able to talk and breathe on your own during the procedure as well. What can be a nerve-racking experience for some is morphed into a relaxing experience.
After the procedure you will even be able to drive yourself home since anxiolysis uses a light sedative. If you have been fretting having dental work done, call us to learn about our anxiety free options for dentistry.
Nitrous Oxide, known to many as laughing gas, is the most commonly used form of sedation in dentistry. It is administered by having the patient inhale the gas, which is carefully monitored by your doctor. You will fall into a euphoric state and feel completely relaxed. All feelings of fear and anxiety fade away, leaving you to sit back peacefully while your dental procedure is performed. In most cases all dental work can be completed in one visit while you are sedated.
Nitrous oxide sedation is very safe and effective. Once the procedure is over the nitrous oxide will wear off fairly quickly, and you will probably be able to drive yourself home and return to your daily activities.
You will need to have a preliminary visit with your dentist to make sure that you are an eligible candidate for nitrous sedation. If you have been worried about your next dental visit its time to stop! Ask us about sedation dentistry and schedule your appointment today.
Who is a candidate for sedation?
If you have anxiety or fear about going to the dentist you are a candidate for sedation dentistry. If you have a fear of pain, have had a traumatic dental experience in the past, or the sounds and smells of a dental office make you nauseous, sedation dentistry can help you get over your anxiety.
Some people have physical reasons, like a bad gag reflex or very sensitive teeth, which make them a candidate for sedation dentistry as well. If you are not sure if you are a candidate ask your dentist.
Will I be unconscious?
No, but you will be in a deep state of relaxation during your treatment. You will still be able to breathe on your own and communicate, but you will not feel any pain or anxiety. You may not even remember the procedure afterwards.
How long will I be sedated?
Sedation can last from about 2-6 hours depending on the strength of sedative you are given and how long your procedure takes.
Will I be monitored?
Yes, at all times during your sedation someone will be with you. We also monitor your vitals to make sure they remain at a normal level. Safety is of the utmost importance to us.
Are there any long term effects of sedation?
No. You will feel a little groggy and "out of it" after some forms of sedation, but after a few hours you will feel like yourself again. You will need to have someone drive you home from your appointment in these cases.
What procedures can be performed under sedation?
Just about any procedure can be performed with sedation. The sedation is not for the procedure itself, but for the anxiety that accompanies the procedure. Ask your dentist if sedation is available for a particular procedure.
How many appointments will I need to complete my dental work?
In most cases it only takes two appointments. The first appointment will be a consultation to check your health history and make sure you are a candidate for sedation. The next appointment will be to perform the necessary procedures. This can usually be done in one appointment, but may require a follow up visit.
Will my insurance cover sedation?
In most cases it will not be covered by your insurance provider. We will review your insurance coverage and let you know if it is covered or not. If it is not covered, we will let you know the cost and, if necessary, we can put together a financing plan for you.