Sedation Dentistry for a Stress-Free Dental Visit
Are you avoiding dental care because going to the dentist makes you nervous? Take the anxiety out of visiting the dentist with sedation dentistry. Now you can relax in the dental chair, for a peaceful visit with our trusted dental professionals.
In sedation dentistry, sedatives are used to relax the patient during his or her dental visit or procedure. Our practice uses a few different sedation methods, based on individual needs, to safely and effectively put the patient into a state of relaxation that will ensure their experience with us is stress-free.
Are You a Good Candidate for Sedation Dentistry?
Sedation dentistry is an ideal dentistry method for patients who have a:
- High level of anxiety or fear during their dental visit
- Fear of the dental drill, needles or other dentistry implements
- Low tolerance for pain
- Strong gag reflex
- Hard time sitting still during a dental procedure
- Dental procedure involving an extensive amount of work
Types of Sedation
During your dental visit with us, we have the option of the following sedation methods. One of our experienced dental professionals will select the appropriate method that suits your individual needs and one that is most effective for the type of dental work being performed.
Oral sedation is achieved through a sedative (in the form of a pill) taken by the patient 1 to 2 hours before the appointment. This type of sedation provides relaxation while allowing the patient to be conscious during the dental procedure. Since oral sedation doesn’t provide pain relief, a local anesthetic is typically also used to numb the area or areas being treated.
Patients who are prescribed oral sedation should arrange for a ride to and home from the dental office, as they will be too drowsy to drive afterwards. It takes about 24 hours for the full effects of oral sedation to wear off.
Nitrous Oxide Sedation
Nitrous oxide, also called “laughing gas,” is a form of sedation that the patient inhales through a rubber face mask. This sedation method puts the patient in a relaxed, though still conscious, state during their treatment.
Nitrous oxide gives the patient a deep sense of relaxed well-being. To manage pain, a local anesthetic is typically used in conjunction with this sedation method. The effects of nitrous oxide are short-term, wearing off minutes after the rubber mask is removed, so that the patient can drive and perform normal daily activities when they leave our office.
Intravenous (IV) Sedation
Intravenous (IV) sedation is a safe and effective method that is administered via a needle into the patient’s veins (typically on their hand or inner elbow). The effect of IV sedation is rapid, as it is administered directly into the bloodstream, and puts the patient into a deep, untroubled sleep for the duration of the procedure. IV sedation does not provide pain relief, so a local anesthetic is also used during the procedure. Patients who plan to have IV sedation should arrange to have someone drive them home from our dental office, as the effects of the sedation will take approximately 24 hours to wear off.
General anesthesia is the method that achieves the deepest level of sedation, and so it is only used when extensive dental work is needed.
A patient placed under general anesthesia (via medication that has been injected) will be unconscious during the entire procedure. This type of procedure requires that the patient be monitored for a short period of time after regaining consciousness. If you will be receiving general anesthesia you will also need to arrange for someone to drive you home after your treatment.
We Specialize in Anxiety-Free Dentistry
Now there’s no more reason to fear going to the dentist. Our dental professionals are trained in the safest and most effective sedation techniques, and can help you to achieve a level of comfort at the dentist that you may have never experienced before! They will educate you on the sedation method you have chosen and will carefully monitor you during treatment so that you can relax in both mind and body during your procedure. Call us to schedule an appointment and learn more about your sedation options.