100% Committed to Your Comfort
If you experience dread or anxiety prior to visiting the dentist. You’re not alone. In fact, millions of US adults avoid visiting the dentist each year because they experience phobia or stress related to dental care. The Rowen Dentistry team is committed to helping even the most anxious patients overcome their fears of dental care, but we know that the gentlest treatment and kindest team members may not be enough to soothe those patients who are severely dental phobic. Ensuring patient comfort is one of the many reasons we incorporate sedation dentistry into our practice. In addition to anxiety or phobia, some of the other common reasons patients ask for sedation include:
- Severe dental sensitivity that makes even a simple cleaning painful (though we will likely want to address the sensitivity as well)
- Overactive gag reflex that makes treatment uncomfortable
- Need to complete numerous or advanced treatments in fewer visits
- Cognitive or physical health concerns that make dental treatments potentially unsafe or uncomfortable
- Young children who cannot understand their treatment and may be unnecessarily frightened
If you’d like to find out more about sedation dentistry, please don’t hesitate to contact our team, ask about the options at your next checkup, or keep reading to learn a little bit about what types of sedation we offer.
Will I be Asleep in Your Office?
This is the most common assumption patients make about sedation. Actually, the types of sedative we offer in our office only allows patients to feel more relaxed and comfortable. Patients will remain awake during treatment, but they will more than likely forget all about their visit once the sedatives wear off. The type of sedation that renders people completely unconscious is actually general anesthesia, and this is only offered by trained anesthesiologists in a safe environment (typically a hospital).
So What DOES Dental Sedation Do?
Most patients are surprised to hear their sedative treatment doesn’t mean a nap at the dentist’s office, but we hope they’re pleasantly surprised when they learn more about their options. We offer the traditional nitrous oxide (laughing gas) and oral conscious (pill) sedation. Laughing gas is still very popular with patients and practitioners alike. There are two main benefits to nitrous oxide sedation – the dosage is easily adjusted and the effects wear off quickly. That means we can increase or reduce your level of sedation throughout treatment to maximize the benefit of sedation. Once the nitrous is reduced and the oxygen is turned up, the nitrous wears off. Following treatment, you can go right back to your daily schedule. No need to have friends drive you to and from our office or take a full day away from work, school, or other priorities.
Oral conscious sedation is a favorite solution for those patients who are very anxious. You’ll take a prescribed pill at a time predetermined before you ever leave home. That means you’ll be completely relaxed before you reach our office. You’ll also need a friend or family member to drive you to and from your appointment and monitor you during your recovery. This deeper form of sedation is not as easily adjusted, but we can use nitrous oxide during your treatment if the sedative effect is insufficient or wears away too soon.
What Kind of Pill do I take for Oral Sedation?
We prescribe a number of different anti-anxiety medications. The drug we recommend for you will depend in large part on any current medications you’re taking, your health history, and the level of sedation we’re hoping to achieve. Most of our medications are in the Benzodiazepine class. These medications are used to treat anxiety and insomnia, but they also reduce unconscious movement making your procedures safer since you will be less likely to move during treatment. You may have heard some of the name brands of the sedatives we prescribe including Valium, Halcion, Ativan, and Versed.
Is Sedation Dentistry Safe?
At our office, it is. We have the necessary training to administer sedatives and monitor your vitals to ensure you are completely safe during your treatment. Our team also works closely with local urgent care facilities, so if an emergency were to occur outside of our control, you will always be in capable hands.