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 fear of the dentist is keeping you away? Then Conscious Sedation Dentistry may be for you.
What is Conscious Sedation Dentistry?
Most of us are familiar with nitrous oxide (laughing gas). Sedation Dentistry works by taking a medication such as Triazolam, a small pill, 30 minutes to one hour before the appointment. Various dosages may be given during the treatment appointment, depending on the severity of the anxiety and the patient's response. Oral Sedation protocols have been used safely for 30 years. Your dentist will review your medical history and monitor you closely while you're under sedation.
Am I a Candidate?
You may be a candidate if you have:
A sensitive gag reflex
A previous traumatic experience
Extra sensitive teeth
Difficulty getting numb
Difficulty keeping your mouth open
Sensitivity to noises, smells or tastes you associate with dental care
A phobia of needles or shots
Extensive work or multiple procedures and want them all done at one time
Some patients fear these factors, but with sedation, their awareness and memory of the procedure is completely blocked out.
What Are the Advantages of Sedation?
The medicine used for 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 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.
Types of Sedation
Depending on the extent of the anxiety, oral sedation or nitrous oxide can be used to make your dental experience a comfortable one.
Medications of various dosages can be given to the patient 30 minutes to an hour before the appointment or at the time of the appointment, depending on the severity of the anxiety.
Also known as laughing gas, is used to induce a state of relaxation.
The dental sedation methods listed above can provide varying degrees of sedation. These include:
Light sedation. Nitrous oxide or oral medications are the most commonly used sedation methods to induce this type of relaxation.
Mild sedation. Nitrous oxide or oral medication can induce this type of sedation. The patient will be awake and able to respond to commands.
At your initial consultation, where the entire process is explained, we will review your medical history and take baseline readings of your blood pressure, pulse and oxygen saturation level. We will also review pre-op and post op instructions and schedule your conscious sedation dental work.
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 level) are fully monitored until your appointment is over. When you wake, you will be done with the procedure and feel relaxed and comfortable. And best of all, you usually will not remember the treatment appointment.
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!