What is Sedation Dentistry?
Sedation dentistry is a term used to describe various techniques that are used to alleviate dental anxiety and improve comfort before and during exams and procedures. This service is an expansion of the pain management most people are familiar with when they need to undergo dental treatment such as a filling or root canal. Certain dental sedation techniques are known to “take the edge off.” With some sedation, patients may not remember their procedure even though they are awake while receiving care.
What are the Benefits of Sedation Dentistry?
Sedation dentistry offers a variety of benefits, including:
- Anxiety relief- Sedation reduces the nervous system response so that even the most nervous patients can maintain comfort throughout their procedures.
- Pain relief- The effects of sedatives on the nervous system also diminish the brain’s ability to register pain, making treatment even more comfortable.
- Diminished gag reflex- Sedation relaxes the mind as well as the body.
- Anterograde amnesia- During the time under sedation, the brain cannot create new memories. This function is restored once the sedative wears off, so the events that are not remembered are limited to the dental visit itself.
- Faster, more efficient, more extensive work- When a patient is sedated and relaxed, the dentist can work more adeptly without stimulating a gag reflex. Patients are also able to sit for longer periods, which enables them to combine procedures if they’d like.
Who are the Ideal Candidates for Sedation Dentistry?
Sedation dentistry is appropriate for many patients who find it difficult to undergo dental treatments or for patients who want to undergo a lengthy treatment session. With various forms of sedation available, our office can meet the needs of a wide range of patients.
How is Sedation Dentistry Performed?
The administration of sedation is dependent on its form. We offer:
IV Conscious Sedation:
IV Conscious Sedation is utilized for patients that experience significant anxiety during dental visits or for difficult and lengthy procedures. Medications specific to the patient’s needs are used to relax the patient throughout the procedure.
Sedation has a very safe track record and is also a great option for patients who wish to complete a number of procedures in one visit. Dr. Jirik has provided IV conscious sedation since 1997 on a daily basis. Patients undergoing conscious sedation must follow strict preoperative and postoperative instructions and be escorted by a responsible adult.
Oral Conscious Sedation:
Oral Conscious Sedation is utilized to relieve minor anxieties for minor procedures. Selected patients are given prescriptions for oral sedatives that are administered in the office. The patient’s vital signs are monitored during their entire visit. We have provided Oral Sedation services since 1986. Patients utilizing conscious sedation must follow strict preoperative and postoperative instructions and be escorted by a responsible adult.
Nitrous Oxide or laughing gas is a simple and effective technique used to relieve minor anxieties for minor procedures. This technique allows the patient to experience procedures relaxed and once recovered leave the office by themselves.
What is the Recovery from Sedation Dentistry?
Patients recover from sedation very quickly but the timing does depend on the type of sedation one has received.
Is Sedation Dentistry Safe?
Sedation dentistry is generally considered safe, effective, and convenient. We are serious about providing the utmost care to our patients so we have established specific protocols surrounding services that include sedation.
Patient Safety Monitoring:
Patient Safety Monitoring is imperative during sedation dentistry, treatment of the elderly or medically compromised patients. We provide constant analysis of the heart rate, heart rhythm, blood pressure, and blood oxygen concentration. Our staff is ACLS (Advanced Cardiac Life Support) certified. In the event of a medical complication or emergency, we are able to determine the problem and act promptly. To treat medical emergencies, we maintain a crash cart with emergency medications, supplies and an AED (Automated External Defibrillator). We have the ability to maintain oxygenation and cardio convert compromised patients.
Is Sedation Dentistry Painful?
It does not hurt to receive dental sedation. Nitrous oxide is inhaled through a lightweight mask placed over the nose. Oral sedation involves taking a pill, and IV sedation causes only a slight pinprick sensation as the IV is inserted.
"Dr. J and his staff are all so gracious, kind, and caring! They take care of everything you need and make sure you feel great while you're their. I would recommend this practice and Dr. J. to every person looking to have dental work done. Do not dread another dental appointment! Give them a call!!" - J.T.