We recognize that some of our patients may feel anxious or apprehensive about receiving dental care. Our doctors and staff work hard to make sure you have a comfortable, positive experience.
That’s why we are pleased to offer sedation dentistry for those patients requiring involved surgical procedures. Feeling anxious about receiving dental care should never prevent you from having the beautiful, healthy smile you deserve.
Customized sedation dentistry that is safe and effective
There are different types of sedation dentistry, and we will work together to decide on a personalized treatment plan that will give you the care you need while ensuring your comfort every step of the way. We are trained in both oral and intravenous (IV) sedation techniques.
For most patients, IV moderate sedation is adequate. Some special situations may require more advanced dentistry, including deep sedation or hospital-based general anesthesia.
How sedation dentistry works
Due to the nature of the sedative medication, you will need someone to accompany you to your appointment because you will not be able to drive. When you arrive at our practice, our staff will be waiting for you and will escort you to a private room where you’ll be treated.
Your doctor will place an IV and administer medication to help you into a deeper state of relaxation. Once your treatment is complete, you will wake up with little or no memory of the appointment.
Using sedation dentistry, we can complete some treatments that would not otherwise be tolerated. We use sedation dentistry primarily for surgical cases, though there may be special circumstances where can use sedation for restorative dentistry (fillings, crowns, etc).
Common questions about sedation dentistry
We understand that you may have questions about sedation dentistry before receiving treatment. Piror to being scheduled for sedation dentistry, we will discuss with you the sedation process and necessary paperwork along with answer questions you may have.
Here are some of the most common questions and answers about sedation dentistry:
- Is sedation dentistry the same as being unconscious?
No. You will still be conscious and responsive but you will be in a deep state of relaxation. You may be aware of your surroundings, though you won’t particularly care if we are taking an X-ray or performing surgery.
- Is sedation dentistry safe?
The primary benefit to IV sedation (over oral sedation) is the dentist’s ability to titrate the amount of medication delivered. The effect of medicine given via IV occurs almost instantly, with effects usually apparent within 30 seconds. This means the dentist can give you a small sedative dose at a time until you are sedated at the level which you and the dentist are comfortable with. Conversely, if your sedation becomes heavier than what was intended, reversal drugs can be given almost instantly via the IV that is already in place. Additionally, through the training acquired for IV sedation, your dentist is well prepared to handle medical emergencies that may arise.
While surgical treatment is generally very safe under IV sedation, your dentist will discuss additional safety concerns with you if you are seeking routine dental treatment under sedation.
How long will it take the sedation to wear off?
The time it takes for the sedatives to wear off depends on many factors, but most patients “feel” their themselves within 8 hours after the procedure. Because sedation causes drowsiness up to 24 hours after the procedure, you should not drive, drink alcohol, or operate machinery.
- Am I a good candidate for sedation dentistry?
Any patient, from child to adult, who experiences dental anxiety is a good candidate for sedation dentistry. If you have any of the following fears or concerns, ask your doctor about sedation dentistry as an option for your next dental treatment:
- Extreme dental anxiety, or fear of visiting the dentist
- Fear of needles and/or shots
- Past traumatic dental experience
- Inability to handle the smells or noises at a dentist’s office
- Overly sensitive teeth, a strong gag reflex, or trouble getting numb
- Need for a more complex dental treatment
- Self-consciousness about your teeth
- Desire for a more comfortable dental treatment
If you believe you could benefit from sedation dentistry at your next appointment, please contact us and let us know how we can better accommodate your needs.