What is Sedation Dentistry?
Sedation dentistry allows you to be completely at ease during your dental visit. Even if you have a large amount of dental work to be done, you’ll be calm and stress-free. Your dental visit will fly by, and be over before you know it.
To reduce your tension and anxiety, you’ll receive one of the following:
- Oral Sedation, a light sedative pill before your visit.
- Nitrous Oxide, also known as “laughing gas” while you’re in the dentist’s chair.
- IV Sedation, also known as sleep dentistry.
Oral sedation and nitrous oxide are methods that are extremely effective and safe. With oral sedation and nitrous oxide, you will remain fully conscious, which is the main point of difference between these sedation methods and IV sedation, also known as sleep dentistry. If you require a sedative, you’ll want to arrange to have a ride home, as it will take a few hours to wear off. Nitrous oxide, on the other hand, wears off much more quickly.
In addition to offering sedation dentistry for patients who prefer it, Drs of Smiles offers amenities to make your visit as pleasant and comfortable as possible.
What is oral sedation?
Oral sedation is the most common method used in sedation dentistry. It ranges from minimal to moderate sedation, and is administered in pill form. When only minimal sedation is required, the patient is typically given a Halcion tablet, a medication similar to Valium, which takes full effect in approximately one hour. Once the pill takes effect, the patient becomes drowsy, but is still awake for surgery. When a slightly greater degree of sedation is required, the patient is administered a somewhat larger, or moderate, dose of the medication.
With the moderate dose of this medication, most patients remain fully asleep, although they can be awakened with minimal effort. Children are sometimes given a mild dose of oral medication which is carefully administered according to the child’s age and weight.
What is nitrous oxide?
One way of administering sedation is by having the patient breath in nitrous oxide, also known as “laughing gas”, through a mask placed over the nose. Although the nitrous oxide will definitely put the patient into a relaxed state, the gas wears off quickly. For this reason, adult patients who have been treated with nitrous oxide are able to drive themselves home from the procedure. Nitrous oxide is sometimes used as a safe alternative on children who are phobic or uncooperative about dental treatment. Patients under minimal sedation are groggy and slur their speech, but can be easily roused.
What is IV Sedation?
Intravenous (IV) sedation is a form of moderate sedation that helps establish a relaxed, calm state and allows patients to undergo even the most complex dental procedures free of anxiety. Sedative medication is injected directly into the bloodstream through the arm, helping a patient to fall asleep during treatment. IV sedation is safe and effective for most patients, and is most often used for shorter dental procedures because it produces almost instantaneous results. If a deeper level of sedation is needed, additional medication can be administered. A patient will need to be driven home after receiving IV sedation, and should avoid driving for the rest of the day. Mild nausea may be a problem post-sedation, but usually passes quickly.
Advantages of Dental Sedation
A phobia of the dentist can lead many people to avoid regular dental visits and cleanings, much less other, more complicated work. But avoiding the dentist means cavities and other problems won’t be discovered easily. This will usually lead to a need for additional, extensive work. The advantages of sedation dentistry will not only minimize the need for extensive work all at once but also the following:
- You are completely relaxed during your dental visit.
- You remain conscious and are able to answer questions and are aware of what’s happening.
- Your anxiety will be non-existent, and your time in the chair will seem to pass quickly.
- Ability to have more than one procedure performed during one visit.
Its not uncommon for patients with dental anxiety to put off going to the dentist for a long time. In most cases, a patient may have several issues that need to be taken care of. Your state of complete sedation can allow our dentists to address several issues during one session. Since you’re relaxed, the dental work can be done in less time and your dentist can be much more efficient.
Who is a good candidate for Sedation Dentistry?
Our relaxation dentistry methods may be right for you if you relate to any of the following:
- Suffered a traumatic dental experience in the past
- You have an excessively sensitive gag reflex
- You suffer extreme discomfort and pain in the dental treatment chair
- Unable to schedule your routine cleaning and exam every six months
- You are constantly putting off dental care because of fear and anxiety
- You are interested in sedation that allows you to remain awake but deeply relaxed
Of course, the only way to be sure you are a good candidate is to visit our experienced dentists. We also offer sedation dentistry for children. The dentists of Drs of Smiles can determine if sedation dentistry treatments can help you, and can inform you of what to expect during and after sedation.
What Is Dental Anxiety?
Dental anxiety or phobia is a feeling of worry that causes some people to put off dental visits as long as they are having no pain. When the pain does start, they then have a extremely difficult experience and that reinforces their desire to not return unless they are hurting. Sometimes this fear is built up by others who have had bad experiences.
Dental anxiety/phobia is an extremely common but unfortunate condition. Many people have had difficult, painful or traumatic experiences in the dentist’s office. When you’ve had that kind of experience, it’s sometimes hard to overcome your anxiety even to have routine dental work done, which is why we offer sedation dentistry and sleep dentistry.
Causes of Dental Phobia
Causes of dental phobia can be:
- Painful and/or scary childhood experiences at the dentist or physician
- Past painful adult experiences
- Stories from friends and/or media depicting bad experiences from others
- Fear of the unknown
If your fear and anxiety is preventing you from getting routine dental care or dental treatments you need, then you are probably a good candidate for dental sedation.
Drs of Smiles can help reduce Your Dental Anxiety
Our team of dentists ask that potential patients who have dental anxiety let us talk to them on the phone, so we can better understand their needs. After speaking to our patients, we will determine the right place in our office for the most stress-free exam and x-rays. We can plan a dental care program that will make our office less of an anxiety producing place. Our patients become part of our dental family and we care for them!
Our office has hired very gentle staff and doctors who perform detailed exams and x-rays in a comfortable manner. Treatments will be performed at the patients pace and in a stress-free way. We explain our abilities to use nitrous oxide, oral sedation, and IV sedation. We offer other ways to improve your dental visit such as, headphones, dark glasses, padded chair back and shoulder supports and heat therapy. All of these options are offered through sedation dentistry.
A Patient’s Guide to Sedation Dentistry
Choosing a Sedation Dentist
Because of its growing popularity, many dentists are now offering sedation dentistry. However, some dentists are more qualified to perform sedation dentistry than others. Before deciding on a sedation dentist, you’ll want to do some research to be sure you choose a qualified professional.
As with any specialized procedure, it’s important to find a dentist with experience in sedation dentistry. A sedation dentist should be able to offer several different sedation options, depending on what will work best for you and what goals you wish to achieve with sedation during dentistry.
Sedation dentistry isn’t one-size-fits-all, and your dentist should be willing to sit down with you and find out why you wish to have sedation dentistry. He should also offer other methods to help you relax, and maintain an office environment that feels comfortable to you. If a dentist only offers one kind of sedation, or focuses on general anesthesia over other methods, this might not be the dentist for you.
Modern dentistry has made many strides forward in helping people manage their fear of the dentists office. Dr. LeSueur and Dr. Dodaro do everything they can to help you feel comfortable during your visit. If you wish to use additional measures to ensure you’ll be free of anxiety, please let us know so that we can accommodate your needs.
DR. LESUEUR’S EXPERIENCE WITH SEDATION DENTISTRY
Dr. LeSueur belongs to the Dental Organization for Conscious Sedation (DOCS), and has had many experiences with sedation dentistry. Dr. LeSueur does not use IV or general anesthetic, as the risks inherent in these methods are much greater than for use of a sedative or nitrous oxide. Dr. LeSueur will provide an anxiety-free experience and help you overcome your fear of the dentist.
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Even people with severe dental fear and phobias have found excellent results with sedation dentistry. If you’ve avoided the dentist for a long time, and have a large amount of work to be done, relaxation dentistry can allow Dr. LeSueur and Dr. Dodaro to accomplish several procedures at once. You’ll be much more relaxed, making the procedures go more quickly, and having several procedures done in one appointment will save you time and money.
For more information on sedation dentistry call Drs of Smiles today at (480) 834-6991 today! Dr. Scott LeSueur, Dr. Glenn LeSueur, and Dr. Charles Dodaro serve Mesa, Phoenix, Gilbert, Tempe, Scottsdale Arizona and surrounding areas.