Sedation dentistry provides a solution for those that skip regular dental visits because of fear and anxiety. Nitrous oxide – also called “laughing gas” is the most popular form of sedation dentistry which uses nitrous oxide gas to help a patient feel calm while in the dentist’s chair. IV sedation dentistry is another option for more complicated treatments that can sedate a patient even further, helping them achieve total relaxation during treatment. Whether it is as simple as a cleaning or as complex as a root canal, sedation dentistry has helped people overcome their fear of going to the dentist so they can get the dental care they want and need.
Sedation dentistry effectively helps a patient become as comfortable and relaxed as possible using well established and proven techniques with a variety of sedation medications given orally and intravenously. These protocols can be customized for the patient’s individual emotional and physical needs. Sometimes referred to as ‘relaxation’, ‘sleep’ or ‘anxiety free’ dentistry, this type of dental care is now offered by thousands of trained dentists all over the United States.
Different levels of oral issues require different levels of oral treatment. Some more complicated cases require more time in the dentist chair which can translate into more anxiety for some of our patients. Sedation dentistry is an option for any treatment you need at our office. From simple cleanings to root canals to dental implants–you are in control of how conscious you want to be during these treatment sessions. Generally, sedation dentistry is recommended if:
Young patients that are considering sedation dentistry options will be treated according to their age and weight. Most often, nitrous oxide (laughing gas) is sufficient for young children at calming their nerves and keeping them calm during treatment.
There are several different types and levels of sedation that you can use to help your dental experience be as positive as possible. During your evaluation with us, we will discuss what options would work best for you for your current treatment needs and your unique patient profile. The different levels of sedation range from being fully awake, but relaxed, to being completely unconscious. Your comfort level, your treatment needs, and other factors will determine which level of sedation would work best for you. Sedation dentistry falls into four main categories each with a different level of consciousness:
Sedation dentistry is offered to patients by dentists who have been specially trained by standards set forth through the Dental Organization for Conscious Sedation to implement sedation in their offices. Sedation dentistry requires that dentists acquire the knowledge and skills necessary to sedate healthy adults while ensuring established safety standards and providing positive patient experiences. Dentists trained and certified in sedation dentistry are able to safely offer you tools to keep you relaxed and pain-free during treatment.
Sedation dentistry is very safe for the majority of dental patients, but not everyone is a candidate for this treatment option. Patients who are obese or suffer from obstructive sleep apnea should consult their doctor before requesting sedation. Furthermore, patients who are currently taking prescription medication may not be candidates for sedation dentistry if there are risks of complications with the sedation and your medication. Always discuss all the medications you are taking with your dentist so he can help you make safe, healthy decisions regarding your dental care. Also be sure to tell your doctor about factors like smoking and alcohol consumption, since these can influence the effectiveness of sedation medications. Vital signs are closely monitored during your treatment, so the dentist can quickly reverse the sedative if necessary.
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