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.
Most of us are familiar with nitrous oxide (laughing gas). Sedation Dentistry works by taking a medication such as Triazolam, a small blue 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. One of the dentists will review your medical history and monitor you closely while under sedation.
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 is completely blocked out.
The medicine 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.
Depending on the extent of the anxiety, two different methods can be used to make your dental experience a comfortable one:
1) Oral Sedation:
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.
2) Nitrous Oxide:
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.
2) Conscious Sedation:
Mild sedation. Nitrous oxide or oral medication can induce this type of sedation. The patient will be awake and able to respond to commands.
3) Deep Sedation:
A state between consciousness and unconsciousness. The patient will not be able to respond to commands in a consistent manner and may need some assistance with breathing in the event they are unable to keep their airway open.
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 also will review pre-op and post op instructions then 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) 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!