Many people 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. 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.
Minimal sedation relieves the anxiety patients feel before and during their dental exam. However, minimal sedation allows patients to respond verbally and physically to the dentist’s 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 he/she 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, the doctor and 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.