any people avoid going to the dentist because they experienced traumatic care as a child or suffered painful procedures as an adult. Many people avoid seeking treatment because of the fear they have experienced. At our office we understand these feelings. Whether you just need a routine cleaning or an advanced periodontal procedure, we offer sedation dentistry to make your experience comfortable and relaxing.
Sedation Dentistry is Available to Eliminate Your Fear
Sedation dentistry is used by many dentists to provide a relaxing, calming experience for patients who are afraid of going to the dentist and/or having dental procedures performed. There are many forms of sedation that can be administered in a variety of ways such as intravenous (IV) sedation, oral sedation, or nitrous oxide (“laughing gas”). This variety of sedation methods offers us the flexibility of three levels of sedation – minimal, moderate, and deep – depending on the level of anxiety the patient experiences.
Minimal sedation relieves the anxiety patients feel before and during their dental exam. However, minimal sedation allows patients to respond verbally and physically to directions. The patient will be awake but calm and may remember parts of the experience after the procedure is completed.
Moderate, or conscious, sedation relaxes the patient even more, but the patient will only be able to respond to a larger stimulus in his environment. The patient will likely slur their words and will most likely not remember anything about the procedure.
Deep sedation is reserved for those with a deep-seated fear and aversion to the dentist’s office. Deep sedation puts the patient on the edge of consciousness but he/she can still be awakened. When a patient is put under deep sedation, he does not usually show any signs of comprehension or recognition to anything that is occurring. The patient will not remember anything about the experience.
Our office offers oral sedation dentistry. Oral sedation dentistry allows us to relieve anxiety without the use of needles or intravenous tubes. Additionally, patients who traditionally have trouble getting numb have no problem when sedated and relaxed.
About an hour prior to the appointment, the patient will be asked to take a small pill that will make him/her drowsy. By the time a companion accompanies the patient to our office for the appointment, the patient will be feeling relaxed and calm. We will escort him/her to a comfortable room and cover him/her with a warm, thick blanket.
Once the patient is comfortable and completely relaxed, Dr. Davis and our experienced clinical team will complete the dental procedure. During the entire procedure, the patient’s vital signs will be monitored to ensure their health and safety. After the treatment is completed, the companion will take the patient home to rest and sleep for a couple of hours after the appointment.
Intravenous (IV) Conscious Sedation
IV Conscious Sedation is an effective technique for managing moderate to severe dental anxiety. While not as readily available in most dental offices, we believe it is a valuable tool for ensuring a patient’s complete relaxation during a procedure they would not ordinarily have had done due to extreme fear.
Prior to the procedure, drugs are administered intravenously. Drugs administered by IV are far more effective than those taken orally because the doctor can control exactly how much is administered directly into the blood stream.
During the procedure, monitoring devices are placed on the patient to monitor their heart rate, blood oxygen levels, blood pressure, and breathing. The medications administered during IV conscious sedation leave the patient with no recollection of the procedure.
In order to provide IV Conscious Sedation dentistry, specialized advanced training and certification by the state Board of Dental Examiners was required and completed.
For most periodontal procedures, a local anesthetic is utilized to numb the area being treated.
Lidocaine is the most common local anesthetic used in dentistry, however there are many other options.
Some local anesthetics are short acting and others last several hours depending on the type of anesthetic Dr. Davis determines what is necessary for the procedure.
Interested in Sedation Dentistry? You May be a Candidate
Candidates for Sedation Dentistry include people who have:
- High fear
- Had traumatic dental experiences
- Difficulty getting numb
- A bad gag reflex
- Very sensitive teeth
- Limited time to complete their dental care
- Complex dental problems
- A fear of needles and shots
- An aversion to the noises, smells, and tastes associated with dental care
- Fear or embarrassment about their teeth