Are you one of the 45 million Americans who are missing out on routine dental cleanings, check-ups and necessary dental work because anxiety or a busy schedule is keeping you away? Then Conscious Sedation Dentistry may be for you.
Am I a Candidate?
You may be a candidate if you have:
• Dental phobia
• Dental anxiety
• A sensitive gag reflex
• A previous traumatic experience
• Extra sensitive teeth
• Difficulty getting numb
• Difficulty keeping your mouth open
• Hate noises, smells and tastes associated with dental care
• Hate needles and shots
• Need extensive work or multiple procedures at one time
• Are embarrassed about your teeth
Some patients fear these factors but with the sedation, their awareness and memory of the procedure can be minimized and, in some cases, completely blocked out.
What Are the Advantages of Sedation?
Conscious Sedation has an “amnesia” quality, which for most patients tends to prevent almost any memory of the visit. The advantage is that the brain doesn’t “register” the work that was done, so there is often times no lingering discomfort!
By being totally relaxed, you reduce joint and gum soreness. The medicine allows you to have more work done comfortably at one time. You can have your exam, general dentistry, cleaning, root canals and even some cosmetic procedures all done in one visit instead of the traditional two to four visits.
What types of sedation are used in dentistry?
There are varying levels of sedation dentistry based on your unique needs. Factors include your level of anxiety, the length of your procedure, your health history and personal preferences. The most common types of sedation dentistry include nitrous oxide, oral conscious sedation using oral tablets (we do not offer this form of sedation at Geneva Family Dentistry) and intravenous (IV) sedation.
Nitrous oxide is commonly known as “laughing gas.” You inhale nitrous oxide through a mask or nosepiece, and calming effects begin within three to five minutes. Your dentist controls the amount of sedation you receive and adjusts dosages accordingly throughout your procedure. Once your treatment is over, your dentist gives you pure oxygen to flush the nitrous oxide out of your system. Because the laughing gas leaves your system so quickly, you’ll be able to drive yourself home after the procedure.
Intravenous (IV) sedation
IV sedation dentistry is the deepest form of conscious sedation available in a dental office setting. Your healthcare provider delivers sedative medications directly to your bloodstream through an IV line. During your procedure, your dentist monitors your heart rate, blood pressure and oxygen levels. They can adjust your dosage at any point and can use reversal medications if necessary. Most people who receive IV sedation dentistry fall asleep and toggle between consciousness and unconsciousness. Many have little to no memory of their treatment when they wake up. This option is best for people with severe dental anxiety or those who are undergoing lengthy procedures.
Process for Sedation in Our Office
At your initial consultation, we will review your medical history and take baseline readings of your blood pressure, pulse, oxygen saturation level. This evaluation is completed to make sure you are a candidate for IV Sedation. After this evaluation we will be able to answer any questions you may have and gain an understanding of your treatment needs.
We also will review pre-op and post op instructions and schedule your conscious sedation dental work. You will need a driver to bring you to and from your sedation appointment. Plan to take the rest of the day off school/work.
Inform your dentist if you would like to try nitrous oxide at your initial new patient appointment. We will review your health history and make sure you are a candidate for nitrous oxide. If you are a candidate, simply show up to your dental appointments as planned. You can drive yourself to and from your appointments and will feel back to normal as soon as the nose piece is removed.
At your appointment, you will be drowsy and unaware of the time passing by. Our specially trained team will monitor you throughout the appointment. Your vital signs (heart rate, blood pressure and oxygen) are fully monitored until your appointment is over. When you awake, you’ll be done with the dentistry and feel relaxed and comfortable. And best of all, you usually won’t remember the treatment appointment.
You’ll experience a special understanding and sensitivity towards your needs. We do offer Nitrous Oxide as an alternative to oral Sedation Dentistry. Many patients who are treated with Conscious Sedation frequently say they don’t even remember being at the dentist!