Conscious Sedation & General Anesthesia
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Sedation dentistry or the use of Dental IV sedation is a helpful option for those who are nervous or fearful about going to the dentist. This option helps patients relax throughout dental treatments.
At our practice, IV sedation is available to help people become comfortable more quickly and the level of sedation can be adjusted continuously. This is given to the patient intravenously. Our office employs a medically trained anesthesiologist to ensure the procedures are performed safely.
We offer different levels of sedation:
- Minimal- awake but relaxed
- Moderate- won’t remember much of the procedure and may slur words
- Deep-on the edge of consciousness but can be awakened
- General anesthesia- completely unconscious
Who Can Undergo Sedation at the Dentist?
Sedation is appropriate for adults and children who have real fear or anxiety which is preventing them from going to the dentist or from having successful treatments while at the dentist. It is best for those who:
- Need a large amount of work done
- Have very sensitive teeth
- Have a sensitive gag reflex
- Can’t sit still in the chair
- Have low pain threshold
- Are uncomfortably nervous or scared during procedures
We understand that for millions of adults, visiting the dentist can be an overwhelming or frightening experience due to dental anxiety. This common condition typically starts by a negative experience or becoming fearful of the general idea of dentistry. While common, you do not have to be concerned about visiting our dental office because we can ensure your comfort.
When you schedule an appointment with our cosmetic dentist Dr. Martin Gorman, let us know if you have dental anxiety so that we can prepare for your visit accordingly. For many people, the actual procedure is not uncomfortable but it is the anxiety and worry that causes angst. With this in mind, we often prescribe an oral sedative or laughing gas that can be administered prior to the appointment to help a person relax. While this is not a pain killer, it eases the fear and relaxes the body so that you can remain peaceful while having teeth cleaned, or dental work performed. While the dosage is different, laughing gas can be used on both children and adults so that all of our patients can remain comfortable.
Types of Sedation Dentistry
There are various levels and types of sedation. During your consultation Dr. Gorman will discuss the recommended procedure with you along with any anxieties you may have. At that time, a recommendation will be made for the type of sedation you may want to consider. The ultimate decision is up to you based on how you believe you will handle the procedure. In many cases, our patients simply need to relax and prefer to use laughing gas in order to do so. It is quick, effective, and wears off when the procedure is finished without impairing any other bodily functions. Some patients use this to relax when getting their teeth cleaned since there is no actual pain associated with the treatment.
Regular dental visits are essential to maintain optimal oral health, but individuals who experience feelings of anxiety or fear when they think about the dentist often avoid making appointments as frequently as they should. With the help of oral sedation, these patients are able to get the dental care they need.
Why choose oral sedation?
In general, patients choose oral sedation if they:
- Experience severe anxiety and fear when faced with dental instruments
- Put off important dental treatment because of fear
- Have a sensitive gag reflex
- Have trouble feeling numb after receiving local anesthetic
- Cannot rest comfortably in a dentist’s exam chair due to neck or back problems
What is the oral sedation process like?
Prior to your appointment, we will provide you with a pill that can be taken shortly before the procedure. The medication allows you to continue to remain awake and able to communicate—but you will be in a state of deep relaxation and tranquility. During your procedure, you should not feel any discomfort. We will continue to monitor you throughout your appointment to ensure you remain safe, comfortable, and relaxed.
It often takes several hours for the medication to wear off, so having a responsible adult available to take you home after your appointment is required, for your safety.
Oral conscious sedation for dental procedures can only be administered by highly trained dental professionals like Dr. Gorman. Before your appointment, he can review your medical history and determine if this approach is right for you. If you are a good candidate for oral conscious sedation, Dr. Gorman will select the most appropriate anti-anxiety medication for your unique needs, ensuring the highest level of comfort and relaxation during treatment.
What are the side effects and risks of oral sedation?
Although it is common for individuals who have taken oral sedation to feel sleepy or drowsy after treatment, most patients do not experience other side effects. However, these rare effects are generally quite mild, and can include:
- Dry mouth
Additionally, some patients may experience mild retrograde amnesia, meaning they cannot remember much (or anything) about the dental procedure they just had.
At Dr. Gorman’s office, we will take the time to get to know you and understand what all of your concerns are prior to making a formal recommendation as to the type of sedation dentistry that you should consider. We will also need to know if you have any other health issues, risks, or are allergic to anything. Typically, if you have responded well to pain medication or sedation in other medical treatments, you will do well with sedation dentistry and not experience any negative side effects. Still, if you have questions or concerns be sure to discuss them with Dr. Gorman. With any type of dental work, it is important to be well informed and make a decision that you feel is best for your health and your goals. As such, we want you to be an informed and educated patient. Thanks to modern technology, if you are afraid of having dental work done or visiting the dentist in general, you no longer have to be. As a Sedation Dentist, we can ensure that your experience is a positive one. Call (818) 995-1891 for more information and to get started.