Proudly Announcing Sedation Dentistry through Regional Anesthesia Associates
Sedation Dentistry: Can You Really Relax in the Dentist's Chair?
Does the thought of having your teeth cleaned make your entire body tense with fear? Would you rather endure the agony of a toothache than step foot in a dentist's office? You're not alone. A lot of people are so phobic about going to the dentist that they prefer not to have any treatment.
For people who avoid dentists like the plague, sedation dentistry may take away some of their anxiety. Sedation can be used for everything from invasive procedures to a simple tooth cleaning. How it's used depends on the severity of the fear.
What Is Sedation Dentistry?
Sedation dentistry uses medication to help patients relax during dental procedures. It's sometimes referred to as "sleep dentistry," although that's not entirely accurate as patients are usually awake.
What Types of Sedation Are Offered at First Impression Dental?
At First Impression Dental we are proud to announce that we have partnered with a local anesthesia provider, Regional Anesthesia Associates. RAA provides the anesthesia for all of our IV Sedation cases with the utmost of compassionate, professional care.
- Oral sedation (with or without nitrous oxide): Depending on the total dose given, oral sedation can range from minimal to moderate. For minimal sedation, you take a pill. Typically, the pill is Halcion, which is a member of the same drug family as Valium, and it's usually taken about an hour before the procedure. The pill will make you drowsy, although you'll still be awake. A larger dose may be given to produce moderate sedation. This is the type of anesthesia most commonly associated with sedation dentistry. Some people become groggy enough from moderate oral sedation to actually fall asleep during the procedure. They usually can, though, be awakened with a gentle shake.
- IV moderate sedation with Rejuvenation: You receive the sedative drug through a vein, so it goes to work more quickly. This method allows the anesthesiologist to continually adjust the level of sedation. Patients respond purposefully to verbal commands, either alone or accompanied by light stimulation. When the dental procedure is complete, the anesthesiologist will continue the IV and deliver a therapy to restore vitamin levels, energy and give you complete rehydration.
- IV deep sedation with Rejuvenation: You will get medications through a vein that will create a depressed level of consciousness during which patients cannot be easily aroused but respond purposefully following repeated stimulation. When the dental procedure is complete, the anesthesiologist will continue the IV and deliver a therapy to restore vitamin levels, energy and give you complete rehydration.
- Regardless of which type of sedation you receive, you'll also typically need a local anesthetic -- numbing medication at the site where the dentist is working in the mouth -- to relieve pain if the procedure causes any discomfort.
Who Can Have Sedation at the Dental Office?
Sedation is most appropriate for people with a real fear or anxiety that is preventing them from going to the dentist.
Sedation dentistry may also be appropriate for people who:
- have a low pain threshold
- can't sit still in the dentist's chair
- have very sensitive teeth
- have a bad gag reflex
- need a large amount of dental work completed
Sometimes, children are given sedation if they are terrified of going to the dentist or refuse to cooperate during the visit. Nitrous oxide tends to be safe in children, and just about any dentist can administer it. A smaller percentage of pediatric dentists are trained to give children oral sedation. Oral sedation can be safe when kept within the recommended dose for the child's age and weight.
Can Any Dentist Perform Sedation?
Most dentists can administer minimal sedation (such as nitrous oxide or pills). An increasing number of dentists can give moderate sedation. However, only a small percentage of dentists who have completed the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA) program in deep sedation and general anesthesia can use these more complex techniques. These dentists are typically oral and maxillofacial surgeons and dentist anesthesiologists. Some dentists use a dentist anesthesiologist, who is specially trained to give all levels of sedation and anesthesia to both children and adults.
How Safe Is Sedation Dentistry?
There is always a risk in getting anesthesia. It is usually safe, though, when given by experienced dentists or anesthesia providers. However, certain people, such as those who are obese or who have obstructive sleep apnea, should talk to their doctor before having sedation. That's because they are more likely to develop complications from the anesthesia.