What Types of Sedation are Available for Dental Work?
Types of Sedation and Pain Relief We Offer
For some of us, the idea of a trip to the dentist can bring up a lot of feelings of fear or anxiety. It’s understandable if you’ve endured a painful procedure in the past, if you find the noise and vibration hard to tolerate, or if you’ve experienced less than compassionate treatment in the past. Maybe your dentist didn’t listen to your concerns, or maybe those concerns were minimized. Maybe the mere thought of being confined to the dentist chair is enough to trigger anxiety.
You are not alone. A massive 80 percent of Americans suffer from some level of dental anxiety with 15 percent of those suffering from extreme anxiety. This is a problem that we need to address.
At Tomasik Family Dental, your comfort is our priority. We ensure that all our patients have a calming, relaxing dental experience during their time with us.
With this in mind, and thanks to our comprehensive training, we have the following range of sedation options that will ensure your visit with us is as pain-free as possible.
You have probably heard of “laughing gas,” right? That’s nitrous oxide. It’s been dubbed laughing gas because patients experience a relaxed, calm, and enjoyable feeling that can lead to giggles. Any fear and anxiety you might be experiencing will quickly dissipate with nitrous oxide. You might even feel like time is passing more quickly than usual with this minimal sedation.
During any dental procedure where the use of nitrous oxide is warranted, the gas is mixed with oxygen and then inhaled through a face mask which covers the mouth and nose. You will not lose consciousness, and you will be able to see and hear, answer any questions from the dentist, move your body at will, and breathe normally. If you want to watch TV to distract you, then you can. Kids often enjoy watching cartoons while using the nitrous oxide to relax them.
A significant advantage of nitrous oxide is that it leaves your body very quickly following your treatment with no residual side-effects. Most people can drive themselves home.
Is it safe?
Yes, nitrous oxide is safe. As mentioned above, it’s even used in children. We ensure that the nitrous oxide is combined with oxygen as you are breathing through the mask. This ensures that you’re still breathing in plenty of oxygen in addition to the gas..
Nitrous oxide is a non-addictive, non-allergic, safe and proven method of reducing any anxiety that you might be feeling. It also produces analgesia or pain relief.
Nitrous oxide isn’t for everyone, which is why Dr. Tomasik or Dr. Clor will evaluate your medical history carefully before administering any analgesic or anesthetic. Those with certain medical conditions, including chronic pulmonary disease, are not advised to use nitrous oxide. Additionally, you may experience some mild nausea, which occurs in around 10 percent of patients. Please talk to Dr. Tomasik or Dr. Clor to see if it is a good option for you.
Oral sedation is as simple as it sounds. You will be given a prescription that you should fill prior to your appointment. You’ll be instructed to take the medication (typically a pill you can swallow whole) an hour or so before your appointment. Valium and its derivatives is most often the medication prescribed for oral sedation.
You will feel sleepy, but you should be able to stay awake while feeling very relaxed. Some people may fall asleep during their appointment, but only into a shallow sleep that you can easily be awakened from.
Oral sedation is most often prescribed when an individual suffers from severe anxiety. That individual will begin to feel relaxed prior to their appointment, making the entire event less stressful.
Is it safe?
Our dentists have undertaken training programs in dental sedation to qualify us as a provider of oral sedation. The medication that we use has been proven to be safe and effective.
Intravenous (IV) Sedation
If you have suffered from a traumatic experience in the past that causes you to you have a high level of fear and anxiety, then speak with your dental team about IV sedation. This is for patients who need to have work done that will either require a prolonged visit or a more jarring approach. Having your wisdom teeth removed is a good example.
You may also be a candidate for IV sedation if you have had issues with other, minimal forms of sedation, you have extremely sensitive teeth, or you have a powerful gag reflex.
The IV medication will be delivered to you through a vein, and you will enter a very relaxed state within moments of the administration of the medication. We consider this form of sedation to be “conscious,” but many patients fall into a light sleep. Most patients wake up with no memory of their dental procedure; just a beautiful smile and healthier teeth.
A great side-effect of IV sedation is that it can help you to overcome dental anxiety by eradicating any negative reinforcements from your dental experience. The next dental appointment you have should trigger less anxiety because you will remember the stress-free visit from the previous time.
Is it safe?
Your dentist at Tomasik Family Dental has had extensive medical training, certification, and experience with IV sedation. The level of medication that you receive will be carefully monitored, and your breathing, heart rate, and blood pressure will be closely monitored during the procedure. If something unexpected does happen, the sedation can be quickly reversed if necessary. The medications that are used are the same medications used safely and successfully in medical and dental procedures throughout the U.S.
For patients with extreme dental anxiety and for those who require an extensive dental procedure, we might consider a general anesthetic to ensure that we maximize your comfort.
What happens with general anesthesia? You will fall asleep very quickly and be asleep throughout your procedure. You will wake up with your dental work completed and no memory of what has been done.
Is it safe?
Our general anesthesia is administered in our office by a board-certified anesthesiologist. These individuals are highly trained doctors with over 12 years of training to do their job. You’ll be monitored closely throughout the procedure and afterward as the anesthesia wears off. You are in very safe hands. It is a safe and comfortable option for severely anxious children and adults.
Don’t Let Your Dental Appointment Stress You Out
Talk to us at Tomasik Family Dental to find out how we can make your dental visit as pain and stress free as possible. There are options to suit everyone, both adults and children. We have the solution to whatever is standing in the way of the beautiful smile you deserve.