What is Sedation Dentistry?
Have you ever found yourself anxious about going to the dentist? This is a completely normal feeling as it can be an intimidating process; you are not alone. Dental fear and anxieties can be debilitating as our teeth are very active factors in our overall health, and are important to keep up with. Neglecting dental procedures or upkeep due to fear and anxiety can lead to many issues that will cause more pain and trouble in the long run.
Sedation dentistry comes in several different forms, and is available to help put a patient at ease or in some cases “completely under” while their dental work is being completed.
Who is Sedation Dentistry for?
- Patients who experiences high dental anxiety or fear
- Patients who struggle with the numbing medications
- Patients who struggle with the sounds present in a dental setting.
- Patients undergoing a more lengthy or painful dental procedure
- Patients who struggle to sit still for a duration of time
We want to gently assure you our clinic is a judgment-free zone. We are here to help make your dental experience as comfortable and peaceful as possible, and are excited to be able to offer you this option!
Types of Sedation Available
- Nitrous Oxide Sedation “laughing gas” – Your dentist will have you inhale this sweet- smelling gas through a mask, prompting a calming effect to come over you as your procedure begins. It works in a matter of minutes, and is easily flushed away when your procedure is complete by inhaling pure oxygen. You will be fully functional to drive yourself home afterwards
- Oral Conscious Sedation – Your dentist will provide an oral pill for you to take leading up to your procedure causing a heavy grogginess and sleepiness. Motor skills and memory may be temporarily slowed, so a ride home will be necessary.
- Intravenous “IV” Sedation – Sedative medications will be delivered through your bloodstream via an IV line. This form of sedation will make you feel like you are in the “twilight zone / twilight sleep”. You will need to take it easy for up to 24 hours and will require a ride home and monitoring at home.
- General Anesthesia – This type of sedation puts you completely out during your procedure. General Anesthesia requires the addition of a licensed anesthesiologist to continuously monitor your overall health and well-being while your dentist performs all your dental treatment needs. With this level of sedation, all your treatment needs can be completed in a single visit. You will need to take it easy for up to 36 hours, and will require a ride home as well as at-home monitoring.
Leading up to your sedation appointment
Your initial consultation is all about you. Your dentist will go over your health history as well as any medications or supplementations you take. In this appointment your dentist will also discuss with you the types of sedation options available and which one they recommend depending on your individual case. They will prepare you for the day of and what you should or should not eat and drink.
During your sedation appointment
We understand the anticipation of your appointment is likely going to cause you a lot of stress and anxiety, but we want you to do our part in making your experience as relaxed and comfortable as possible!
Some things we will provide at your appointment are:
- Warm blankets
- Calming music
- Television to help take your mind off of stressors
Your dentist will ensure you are properly issued the sedation you have chosen in a safe and effective manner before beginning your procedure.
After your sedation appointment
Following your sedation appointment, you will be sent home with the necessary tools to continue caring for your teeth whether you simply had a cleaning or a more extensive procedure. Our office will call you after hours to check in on how you are feeling and getting along, and we have 24 hour emergency lines available should you need to contact us for any reason.
The Bottom Line
We understand and sympathize with the dental anxiety and fear you are experiencing. It’s your body’s way of protecting itself, and we want to come alongside you and empower you as you choose to face your fears and care for your oral health. Sedation dentistry is your ticket to overcoming the worries and stress of how you will make it through your appointment!
Call to book your consultation and sedation appointment today!Sources:
Cleveland Clinic. (n.d.). Sedation Dentistry. Cleveland Clinic. Retrieved March 8, 2023, from https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/treatments/22275-sedation-dentistry
Dental Restorative Group. (n.d.). How Soon Can I Drive After Receiving Anesthesia for Oral Surgery? Dental Restorative Group. Retrieved March 13, 2023, from https://dentalrestorativegroup.com/how-soon-can-i-drive-after-receiving-anesthesia-for-oral-surgery/