sleep dentistry

Learn How a Sedation Dentist Can Help You to Stay Comfortable

Sedation DentistAs a sedation dentist, we make it possible for people to get dental work done that have been unable to visit the dentist. For a number of Americans, sedation dentistry, is the answer to a life-long fear of the dentist chair. Studies have shown that somewhere between 5% and 8% of Americans have never visited the dentist because they are afraid of the experience. There is no doubt that the fear is a legitimate one, and there are a number of theories why people are so afraid of oral procedures. One theory, that makes a lot of sense, is the helplessness many people feel while in the chair. Having a person hovering over you, with your mouth open to the point of being barely able to speak, can cause a great deal of anxiety for some people.

Luckily sedation dentistry has a solution to help ease some of the anxiety. By allowing our patients to select the level of sedation they want, we can provide them with an experience that is stress-free and still gets the dental work they need to be done. It is inaccurate to refer to sedation dentistry as “sleep dentistry”, a term that is relatively popular, because it is only in some cases that the patient is actually asleep. Much of the time the sedation is at the minimal levels, which allows us to take the edge off and ensure that you are comfortable.

You will need to make a number of decisions with regard to the level of sedation, you want, and need, and also the method of delivery. We will then advise you on the benefits and risks of each of the options, so that you have a complete understanding of sedation and how it works with dentistry. There are four levels of sedation that you can elect for. We will give advice and recommendations for each of these in conjunction with the procedure you are going to be getting.

Mild sedation is the most moderate form of sedation, typically administered using inhalation. A mask is placed over your nose and mouth, following which you will be asked to breathe normally. A solution of nitrous oxide, also known as laughing gas, will be administered. Nitrous oxide causes you to relax and let go of excess anxiety during the procedure.

Moderate or conscious sedation is typically given using a pill. The sedation dentist can determine what level of sedation, you require, and work with an anesthesiologist to get you a pill that has the right level of anesthesia. Typically this kind of sedation does leave you with a heavy tongue and slightly drowsy.

Deep sedation sits somewhere between moderate sedation and full general anesthesia. Deep sedation puts you into a light sleep, from which you could easily be awakened. This allows you to be relatively unaware of the activity around you as we perform the oral work you need.

General anesthesia is the heaviest form of sedation and is typically associated with surgical procedures. Given through an IV, general anesthesia is monitored throughout the surgery and the levels can be adjusted constantly to ensure that patients remain asleep and comfortable.

If you want to learn more about the ways we can help you to relax, schedule an appointment at our sedation dentist office.


Learn About the Different Ways a Sedation Dentist Can Help You Relax

Sedation DentistAs a sedation dentist, we have the unique ability to affect the life of people who are, otherwise, terrified of seeking the treatment they need. According to some studies, as many as 8% of all Americans are so afraid of the dentist that they will never seek the medical attention or preventative care that they need. There are numerous factors that influence why a person becomes so afraid of dental procedures. Sometimes the fears come from a bad, or perceived bad, experience while at other times people have a great deal of anxiety because of the perceived lack of control in the dentist chair. Sitting back in a chair, with one's mouth open to the point of barely being able to talk, can cause anxiety. Aware of this anxiety, a sedation dentist has made an effort to provide a medical solution to these fears. Sedation dentistry is not the same as “sleep dentistry” since putting the patient to sleep is not the objective. Rather, our objective is to make the procedure as comfortable as possible, and give the patient just enough sedation to achieve that goal. Sometimes we do have to put a person to sleep in order to achieve this, but in most cases, milder sedation is enough to take off the edge.

There are four different levels of sedation that can be administered.

  • Mild Sedation: This is the most commonly used forms of sedation, where you are fully conscious, but are given a mild sedative that helps you take the edge off. You will be fully relaxed and not stressed out by the procedures while being aware of what is taking place.
  • Moderate Sedation: Moderate sedation is also known as conscious sedation because you will still be fully conscious, but may have some heaviness in your tongue during the recovery phase which could cause slurred speech.
  • Deep Sedation: Best described as a form of light sleep, this kind of sedation keeps you conscious, but in a state that is on the border of being asleep. You can be easily awakened, but tend to be less aware of the procedures and activities going on around you.
  • General Anesthesia: This is truly the only form of “sleep dentistry”, in the arsenal of sedation dentists. You will be fully unconscious during the procedure and will require the normal recovery time, often several hours.

There are a number of options that we will need to discuss with you, including how you would like the anesthesia delivered. There are a number of ways that the anesthesia can be given to you. You can elect to receive mild sedation by inhalation, where we will place a mask over your nose and mouth and deliver the medication. Typically this is nitrous oxide, also known as laughing gas, which will cause you to relax. You can choose mild or moderate sedation, which can be given to you in the form of a pill. For heavier sedation, typically we would use an IV, which puts the anesthesia solution directly into the blood stream and allows us to monitor and adjust the levels as needed. To learn more about these options and to speak with a sedation dentist, call and schedule your consultation.