Sedation Dentistry

Imagine undergoing a complex dental treatment like a root canal, extraction, or oral surgery. When your treatment is complete, you have no recollection of the time it took, the pain, the noise, or the discomfort you were expecting. We are pleased to offer our patients the option of comfortable, safe, and effective sedation dentistry. Patients who benefit from sedation dentistry have:

  • A fear or anxiety of being at the dentist
  • A hard time sitting still for long periods of time
  • A hard time getting (and staying) numb from anesthetics

What is sedation dentistry?

Sedation dentistry allows your doctor to provide a variety of dental treatments safely and comfortably for patients who experience anxiety when visiting the dentist. There are several benefits to sedation dentistry, including:

  • No memory of undergoing the procedure
  • No sense of time while under sedation
  • No sense of smell or sound
  • No fear or anxiety during treatment

Patients who have undergone a procedure using sedation dentistry will tell you it is a simple, relaxing way to experience dentistry.

I am nervous about being unconscious. What levels of sedation are available to me?

There is no need to be nervous about having sedation dentistry at our practice. We are licensed and maintain all necessary certifications.

We will help select the most appropriate level of comfort:

  • Anxiolysis — Anxiolysis is the lightest form of sedation dentistry and is often used for patients with mild anxiety, longer procedures, or more complex situations. We will prescribe a single medication such as valium and use nitrous(laughing gas). You remain awake or very sleepy throughout the entire procedure and are able to breathe on your own, but you will feel a great sense of relaxation. Patients typically recover quickly.
  • Oral Concious(Pill) Sedation — Used for patients with moderate dental anxiety and for patients who need longer or more complex procedures.  With conscious sedation, you will remain awake throughout your procedure, but will be in a deep state of relaxation. It is required that patients who receive conscious sedation have a parent, spouse, or friend accompany them to appointments because it can take several hours for the sedative to wear off and driving may be unsafe.  Patients willl benefit from sleeping throughout most of the procedure and have very little memory afterward.
  • Moderate Sedation and General Anesthesia — Patients receiving this type of treatment generally have severe, debilitating anxiety/fear or they oftentimes are receiving extensive dental treatment such as wisdom teeth, full mouth rehabilitation, pediatrics, and fixing all broken teeth in one appointment. We bring in anesthesiologists(like the ones in hospitals) to assist with these complicated surgeries.  We require patients who receive IV sedation or general anesthesia to have a parent, spouse, or friend accompany them to appointments because it can take several hours for the sedative to wear off and driving may be unsafe.

How are sedatives administered?

  • Inhalation — Nitrous oxide, or laughing gas, is the most frequently used method for easing mild anxiety. Recovery is quick so you can resume your normal activities immediately.
  • Oral — At our office, oral administration is for mild concious sedation.  A single pill is given exactly 1 hour before your appointment.  You are required to find transportation to and from your appointment because driving is considered unsafe while under the influence of a controlled substance.
  • IV — Most commonly employed technique at our office for moderate sedations and general anesthesia procedures.  This technique is administered and monitored by one of our board certified anesthesiologists.

Please contact our practice to schedule a consultation, learn more about sedation dentistry, and find out which sedation dentistry method may be right for you.

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