We believe that dental work does not have to be anxiety-producing or needlessly painful. In our office we use "conscious sedation" techniques when necessary, with the goal to perform dental procedures with minimal pain, discomfort and anxiety for the patient.
From dental phobia to dental surgery, there are many reasons patients elect or need conscious dental sedation. For example, we might implement conscious sedation and make a patient drowsy (and relaxed) by administering a drug to manage his anxiety about visiting the dentist or nervousness about a procedure; this can also be helpful for those who find it difficult to sit still, have a low pain threshold or strong gag reflexes.
With conscious sedation, patients are given just enough sedation to fully relax and sit quietly and comfortably; if deeper sedation is required it can be administered during the procedure. There are different types of modalities and products used for conscious sedation including nitrous oxide ("laughing gas"), IV sedation, and oral sedatives. Whichever type of sedation dentistry is right for you and your unique dental needs will be discussed with you prior to your appointment or during your visit as needed. Procedures such as fillings, crowns, bridges, root canals, extractions, cosmetic procedures, and periodontal treatments usually require some kind of sedation.
In cases of extremely phobic patients or those undergoing a major dental procedure or multiple procedures at once, general anesthesia might be required so the patient sleeps during her time in the chair. In the event general anesthesia is required we can administer this type of "sleep sedation" instead. When general anesthesia is used, a person who is specially trained and certified in general anesthesia manages the patient while the dentist carries out the dental treatment. The patient sleeps throughout the entire procedure without a care.
Sedation dentistry is endorsed by the American Dental Association and is an effective way to make many patients comfortable during their dental visit. We are specially trained and are certified by our State Board of Dental Examiners to use sedation dentistry in our office. Before using a sedative or anesthetic, we will do a full workup to find out about any medications or medical treatments you are receiving. Before administering any sedative or anesthetic, we will explain the process of sedation and review your pre- and post-sedation instructions.