Imagine undergoing a complex dental treatment like a root canal, extraction, or oral surgery. When your treatment is complete, you have no recollection of the time it took, the pain, the noise, or the discomfort you were expecting. We are pleased to offer our patients the option of comfortable, safe, and effective sedation dentistry. Patients who benefit from sedation dentistry have:
- A fear or anxiety of being at the dentist
- A hard time sitting still for long periods of time
- A hard time getting (and staying) numb from anesthetics
- A very busy schedule with little time for dental appointments - often, ALL your work can be done in one or two visits.
What is Sedation Dentistry?
Sedation dentistry allows your doctor to provide a variety of dental treatments safely and comfortably for patients who experience anxiety when visiting the dentist. There are several benefits of sedation dentistry, including:
- No memory of undergoing the procedure
- No sense of time while under sedation
- No sense of smell or sound
- No fear or anxiety during treatment
Patients who have undergone a procedure using sedation dentistry will tell you it is a simple, relaxing way to experience dentistry.
I am nervous about being unconscious. What levels of sedation are available to me?
There is no need to be nervous about having sedation dentistry at our practice. We are Certified by the Oregon Board of Dentistry, In concert with standards set by the American Dental Association, and you will find that we are both respectful and professional at all times.
Sedation dentistry is closely regulated by law, and there are two sedative states which we can administer for your treatment: mild and moderate sedation:
- Mild Sedation — Anxiolysis is the lightest form of sedation dentistry and is often used for patients with mild anxiety, longer procedures or more complex situations. Mild sedation is usually administered with one sedative pill, taken orally. You remain awake or very sleepy throughout the entire procedure and are able to breathe on your own, but you will feel a great sense of relaxation. Patients typically recover from anxiolysis sedation within a few hours after the procedure is complete. Nitrous oxide inhalation (laughing gas) is another form of mild to moderate sedation where you are very relaxed during treatment. Patients receiving conscious sedation must have a parent, spouse, or friend accompany them to appointments because it can take several hours for the sedative to wear off and driving will be unsafe.
- Moderate Sedation — Used for patients with moderate or greater dental anxiety and for patients who need longer or more complex procedures. With conscious sedation, you will remain awake throughout your procedure, but will be in a deep state of relaxation. You will feel asleep. Patients receiving conscious sedation must have a parent, spouse, or friend accompany them to appointments because it can take several hours for the sedative to wear off and driving will be unsafe.
How are sedatives administered?
- Inhalation — Nitrous oxide, or laughing gas, is the most frequently used method for easing mild to moderate anxiety. Recovery is quick so you can resume your normal activities immediately.
- Oral — An extremely common technique for dental sedation is oral sedation. It is easy and does not require the use of needles. You will be given directions and medication. Usually a pill will be prescribed to be taken the night before your procedure, to help you sleep. Another pill will be taken an hour before your appointment. When you arrive the doctor will make sure that you are comfortably sedated or may administer more medication as needed. Your procedure will not be started until YOU are comfortable.
What does it mean to be a Certified and Licensed Practitioner?
A dentist who is certified and licensed to administer sedation has received additional training and has been legally certified by the state's Board of Dental Examiners to deliver medical drugs that alter consciousness for a comfortable, pain-free treatment.
Please contact our practice to schedule a consultation, learn more about sedation dentistry, and find out which sedation dentistry method is right for you.