Sedation Dentistry Is A Path Free From Fear!
Many Adults avoid going to the dentist because they experienced traumatic care as a child, suffered painful procedures as an adult, or are influenced by the stereotypes they see on TV and movies. Even when they experience warning signs like pain in the mouth, many people avoid seeking treatment because of the fear they experience. Children’s fears of the dentist are often from not knowing what to expect, fear from a parent, or being hurt at a prior visit. At our office we understand these feelings and want to help. Whether you just need a routine cleaning or a brand-new smile, we offer sedation dentistry to make your experience comfortable and relaxing.
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 dentists the flexibility of three levels of sedation – minimal, moderate, and deep – depending on the level of anxiety the patient experiences.
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.
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
- Children with special needs
- Highly anxious people
- Apprehensive children
- Very young children
We Can Relieve Your Child’s or You’re Fear!
Nitrous oxide is a safe and effective sedative agent that is mixed with oxygen and inhaled through a small mask that fits over your nose to help you relax. Nitrous oxide, sometimes called “laughing gas,” is one option your dentist may offer to help make you more comfortable during certain procedures. The gas is mild, easily taken, then with normal breathing; it is quickly eliminated from the body. It is non-addictive. While inhaling nitrous oxide/oxygen, your child remains fully conscious and keeps all natural reflexes. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recognizes this technique as a very safe, effective technique to use for treating children’s dental needs.
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 patient will be awake through the whole procedure, allowing the dentist to give them directions, which they will be able to follow. However, the medications administered during IV conscious sedation leave the patient with amnesia of the procedure. The patient will remember nothing about their experience!
The dentist performs the dental treatment in our office with the patient anesthetized under I.V. sedation, which is administered and monitored by an anesthesiologist.
Prior to appointment:
- Please notify us of any change in your child’s or your health and/or medical condition.
- DO NOT bring your child or yourself in for treatment with a fever, ear infection or cold. Should your child or you become ill, contact us to see if it is necessary to postpone the appointment.
- You must tell the doctor of any drugs that your child or you are currently taking and any drug reactions and/or change in medical history.
- Please dress your child or yourself in loose fitting, comfortable clothing.
- Please make sure that your child or you use the restroom immediately prior to arriving at the office.
- Your child or you should not have milk or solid food after midnight prior to the scheduled procedure and clear liquids ONLY (water, apple juice, Gatorade) for up to 6 hours prior to the appointment.
Day of appointment:
- Let us know of any new medications on the day of the appointment.
- A responsible adult must remain at the office during the complete procedure, for a child, a parent or guardian.
After the sedation appointment:
Your child or you will be drowsy and will need to be monitored very closely. Keep your child away from areas of potential harm. If your child wants to sleep, place them on their side with their chin up. Wake your child every hour and encourage them to have something to drink in order to prevent dehydration. At first it is best to give your child sips of clear liquids to prevent nausea. The first meal should be light and easily digestible.
If your child vomits, help them bend over and turn their head to the side to insure that they do not inhale the vomit. Please call our office for any questions or concerns that you might have!