How Does Sedation Dentistry Work?

Sedation dentistry in Fort Collins

Sedation dentistry is a popular option for patients that struggle with real fears and anxiety when undergoing dental treatment.  Many of our patients have expressed that their biggest fears about visiting the dentist is the pain and suffering they worry may occur during treatment. This anxiety and fear keeps many patients from visiting us as soon as they should and putting off treatment for serious dental issues. Family & Cosmetic Dentistry of the Rockies doesn’t want pain and dread to be part of your dental experience. We offer expert sedation dentistry for all our patients so you can remain calm and worry-free through your treatment.  If you need dental treatment but are worried about the pain and discomfort, or if you would like to know more about your dental sedation options we are here to help.

 

What is Sedation Dentistry?

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.

 

When Should I Consider Sedation Dentistry?

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 Family and Cosmetic Dentistry of the Rockies 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:

  • your anxiety is severe enough to prevent you from seeking necessary dental treatment
  • your pain threshold is very low
  • you have sensitive teeth and gums
  • your gag reflex is very sensitive
  • plenty of dental work is required for your condition

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.

 

What Options for Sedation are There?

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:

 

  • Inhaled minimal sedation.  The most popular form of sedation dentistry. Nitrous oxide (laughing gas) is given through a mask placed over your nose. The amount of nitrous oxide you are given can be adjusted throughout the treatment process. The effects of this treatment are immediate and wear off very quickly once treatment is finished so you can drive home without assistance.
  • Oral sedation. A low dose pill is taken hour before your treatment to provide relaxation, but not unconsciousness. The dose administered is determined by you and your dentist. A large dose can cause you to fall asleep during treatment. Oral sedation doses cannot be adjusted during treatment.
  • IV moderate sedation. Preferred by some over other methods because the dentist can adjust the amount of sedation as needed. Effects are immediate. However, some dislike having to have the sedation given through a vein so they opt for other options.  
  • Deep sedation and general anesthesia. The most powerful form of sedation. This method will render you unconscious during the duration of the treatment and you will not wake until the drug has left your system.

 

Is Sedation Dentistry Safe?

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.

 

Am I a Candidate for Sedation Dentistry?

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.

 

Call for a Sedation Dentistry Consultation

If you need dental treatment but are worried about the pain and discomfort, or if you would like to know more about your dental sedation options, call our Fort Collins office today at  (970) 223-6101. Our patient liaison will be happy to assist you, whether it’s to schedule your appointment or answer your basic questions. You can also reach us at your convenience by submitting a contact or appointment request online below.

 

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