If it's difficult for you to imagine a trip to the dentist that's relaxing and pain-free, sedation dentistry might help change your mind. It's often called "sleep dentistry" or "relaxing dentistry" because the purpose is to help you feel at ease while the dentist provides needed dental care.
Dental anxiety keeps millions of patients away from the dentist every year. What many people don't know is that sedative dentistry can help ease dental fears and anxieties by helping you to feel relaxed during procedures.
Everyone can benefit from Sedation and Sleep Dentistry. Over 35 million Americans have some level of anxiety when it comes to going to the dentist. But for many, it is more than being afraid. Some of our patients have had a traumatic experience in a dental chair; others come from a painful past. But regardless of your personal history, we are here to help. We understand that your fears may have kept you from a dentist, but there is no need to feel embarrassed. We are not here to judge you; we are here to help you and encourage you so that you can have the confidence a beautiful smile can bring.
We treat many people with unique reasons as to why they fear dentistry. Some being physically or mentally challenged patients requiring special medical and dental treatments. Others are children who need dental care or patients suffering from anxiety and phobias related to dentistry. Lastly, we see time-constrained executives who need all their dental care performed in a single visit. Whatever the reason you may need sedation or sleep dentistry we are here to make your visit peaceful.
Sedation protocols have been used safely for over 30 years with millions of dental procedures. Before starting any treatments, your doctor will review your medical history and explain how Sedation Dentistry can work for you. Our dentists want you to feel good about going forward towards a healthy, new smile.
Most patients feel no discomfort whatsoever during their treatment and feel surprisingly good afterwards. You'll receive just enough sedation so that you'll be completely unaware of the treatment, as you would if you were asleep. At the end of the treatment, you'll have little or no memory of your dental visit. You will feel just fine. For your safety, we do require that you have a family member or friend drive you home. We'll review your insurance coverage and make financial arrangements to insure you get the dental care you need. Before starting any treatment, we review your medical history, and we monitor you very closely while you're under sedation.
What makes sedative dentistry so ideal is that it virtually eliminates the pain associated with dental procedures. Some forms don't even involve needles!
Sedative dentistry consists of several different techniques, including oral sedation dentistry and IV sedation dentistry, which leave you mildly relaxed but conscious and aware of your surroundings; and general anesthesia, which puts you completely asleep.
Conscious sedation dentistry is a term used to describe sedative dentistry that renders you relaxed but awake. How much and what type of sedation you choose is up to you and your dentist and will depend on the treatment needed, your medical history and your level of anxiety. Here are several common types of conscious sedation dentistry:
Nitrous Oxide – Nitrous oxide, also called laughing gas, is a light to moderate form of dental sedation. The gas is administered through a mask placed over your nose. Inhaling the gas can feel euphoric and may even make you laugh, which is how it got its nickname. Once the procedure is over, the effects wear off quickly with few side effects. Recovery time is also minimal.
Oral Sedation – Oral sedation dentistry involves medications taken before a procedure to produce a relaxed feeling. The effect depends on the strength of your dentist's prescription, so you may feel a little drowsy. Recovery time is a little longer with oral sedation dentistry and you'll need someone to drive you home after your dental treatment is completed.
IV Sedation – IV sedation dentistry is considered a moderate form of sedation. It works much like oral sedation dentistry, except that the drugs are administered intravenously (in your vein). The effects of IV sedation dentistry are felt much quicker than with oral sedation; your dentist can adjust the level of sedation as needed throughout the treatment.
No matter which type of conscious sedation dentistry you choose, your dentist will still need to provide local anesthesia to ensure that you don't feel any pain. Because this is done after you've been sedated, you should feel relaxed and comfortable.
Unlike conscious sedation dentistry techniques, general anesthesia puts you into a deep sleep during your procedure. While using this type of sedative dentistry, you cannot be easily awakened until the effects wear off.
An anesthesiologist, dental anesthesiologist or oral surgeon can only administer general anesthesia. There are risks involved with general anesthesia that aren't present with conscious sedation dentistry, including the need for assisted breathing. But it's an option for those who don't respond to techniques such as oral sedation dentistry and IV sedation dentistry.
Imagine not being afraid to go to the dentist. Imagine being able to accomplish all your dental care in as little as one appointment. This is what Sedation Dentistry can do for you. You'll be able to smile with confidence and chew your food without pain. If you've been putting off years of dental work, Sedation Dentistry can change your life.
Sedation Dentistry Forms:
IV Conscious Sedation Pre-Appointment Instruction
IV Conscious Sedation Post Appointment Instructions