Sedation Dentistry

s-sedationIf you have been avoiding going to the dentist, sedation dentistry is the answer. Our dentists know that sometimes our patients are nervous about getting into our chairs, which is why our dentists are well trained on how to relax patients and empathize with how they might be feeling. Whereas in the past, dentists were perhaps more concerned with the dental treatment than with the patients themselves, our dentists have an understanding approach that includes many sedation options.

Sedation in our office can range from the use of nitrous oxide to calm a patient to a deeper state of sedation with more advanced procedures, sometimes referred to as sleep dentistry. Patients with dental phobia, low pain tolerance, major dental treatment, physical handicaps or strong gag reflexes may require sedation. Procedures like fillings, crowns, bridges, root canals, extractions, cosmetic procedures and periodontal treatments can all be performed under sedation; so there is no reason not to get the dental care that you need!

Nitrous Oxide

Nitrous oxide, more commonly known as laughing gas, is often used as a conscious sedative during a dental visit. The gas is administered with a mixture of oxygen and has a calming effect that helps phobic or anxious patients relax during their dental treatment. Because it is a mild sedative, patients are still conscious and can talk to their dentist during their visit. After treatment, the nitrous is turned off and oxygen is administered for five to 10 minutes to help flush any remaining gas. The effects wear off almost immediately. Your doctor will provide you with pre- and post-sedation instructions.

Oral Sedation

Oral sedation is the administration of an oral anti-anxiety medication and is extremely effective for most people with anxiety who have avoided going to the dentist. Your doctor will prescribe a medication for you to take the morning of the procedure, and you will need someone to drive you to and from your appointment. Oral sedation can be combined with nitrous oxide for an even greater amount of sedation, but you will still be conscious and can talk to your dentist during the visit.

IV Sedation

IV sedation in dentistry is sometimes referred to as sleep dentistry although the medications used do not make the person unconscious the way that general anesthesia is performed in the hospital. Instead, the sedation is used to induce a relaxed state to make them feel more comfortable. You can still breathe and function on your own and respond to direct verbal stimulation. On the day of the procedure, you will not eat breakfast before your appointment, and you will need someone to drive you to and from the procedure. IV sedation is perfect for longer and more complicated procedures which might otherwise be intolerable for those patients with high anxiety.

Sedation is endorsed by the American Dental Association and is extremely safe and effective. Before using a sedative or anesthetic, it is important to tell your dentist about any medications or medical treatments you are receiving. Before administering any sedative or anesthetic, your dentist will talk to you about the process and pre- and post-sedation instructions.