Types of Dental Sedation
Here at Pacific Northwest Prosthodontics, our dedicated dental team will always do everything we can to ensure people feel comfortable and cared for during dental visits. However, we understand that not everyone feels relaxed when visiting the prosthodontist, even people who care for their teeth. For some, these dental anxieties can seem overwhelming, making even routine dental checkups an unbearable prospect.
Without ongoing professional preventative dental care, the risk of dental problems developing is higher, and often people with severe dental fears and phobias will delay treatment, only seeing a prosthodontist when they are in too much discomfort to bear. By this stage, the risk of tooth loss is greater, and it is more likely that lengthy or more complicated treatment is needed. Visiting a prosthodontist when you are in pain can help to reinforce fears and anxieties.
Dental sedation can break this cycle, helping people to feel relaxed and comfortable, reducing or even eliminating many fears and phobias. It is suitable for non-elective and elective dental treatments, so there is no need to put off essential or desirable dentistry. With sedation dentistry, you can receive the dental treatment you need or desire without worrying about pain or anxiety. The type of sedation supplied will depend on your level of anxiety and fear and is fully customized to suit your dental needs. Choices include laughing gas (nitrous oxide), oral sedation, or intravenous sedation.
Lots of people are already familiar with laughing gas which is extremely safe and effective, and the gas takes effect within a matter of moments. The gas is inhaled through a small mask fitted comfortably over your nose, and in just a few seconds you will begin to feel more relaxed and able to receive treatment without any fears or concerns. Once treatment is completed, the gas is turned off and is quickly eliminated from the body. You will soon feel back to normal and can drive yourself home. This is the only form of dental sedation where you can drive afterward, but it is best suited to people with only mild dental fears and anxiety. If you have more substantial concerns or deep-seated phobias or require lengthy treatments, our prosthodontist Dr. Michael Brooks may recommend a deeper level of sedation.
Oral Conscious Sedation
Oral conscious sedation is supplied in the form of a sedative that you will need to take a certain point before your appointment begins. The sedative will help you to remain calm and relaxed during treatment, and once it is completed, you may not remember the entire procedure. We can adjust the level of sedative supplied to ensure the entire appointment is as pleasant as possible. One thing to bear in mind about this treatment is that you will need someone with you who can bring you to your appointment and who can take you home afterward.
Intravenous sedation is administered intravenously so the sedative will take effect within seconds. With this treatment, you will feel so deeply relaxed and comfortable that you may even fall asleep. Afterward, it’s most unlikely that you will remember anything about your treatment, and it could seem as if only moments have passed. While you receive the sedative, you will be continuously monitored, and we will keep you with us a short while afterward, just to make sure you are okay before you can go home with a friend or family member.
When to Consider Dental Sedation?
Dental sedation is enormously helpful for anyone who feels anxious or at all nervous about receiving any form of dental treatment, even if you need just a simple dental cleaning or filling. It could be the ideal solution if it has been a while since you visited a dental office and know you will need treatment to restore oral health. With dental sedation, Dr. Brooks can complete more treatment during a single appointment, helping to restore your dental health that much more quickly and comfortably.
Afterward, once your dental health is restored, our caring and compassionate dental team will work with you to help you maintain it. Once you have good dental health, it’s often just a matter of adhering to a good daily oral hygiene routine and coming to see us regularly for checkups and professional dental cleanings. We hope that once you have a healthy mouth, you’ll find dental visits much easier and less stressful and of course, if needed, dental sedation is still there to help you.
Other Times When Dental Sedation Can Be Useful
You may also find dental sedation a good option if you have a very strong gag reflex that makes it uncomfortable to receive dental treatment. We often recommend dental sedation for people who require wisdom teeth extractions, and especially when all four wisdom teeth must be removed. Using sedation dentistry helps to ensure the entire process is comfortable and smooth, and of course, pain-free!
Anyone considering dental implant treatment may wish to opt for dental sedation, even if they don’t have dental fears or phobias. It can be a more comfortable way to receive this treatment and especially when multiple implants or more complicated implant treatment is needed. Another scenario where dental sedation can be useful might be when completing a smile makeover, and where multiple cosmetic dental treatments may be combined to produce the desired effect.
Is Dental Sedation Safe?
Your safety is always our primary concern and every patient considering dental sedation must be thoroughly evaluated for suitability before treatment is given. We will need to consider your dental and medical health and must know the details of any medications, including prescription medications and over-the-counter medicines. There is a small level of risk with dental sedation, but every precaution is taken to minimize these risks. Usually, dental sedation is an extremely safe option, and while you are sedated, we will monitor you closely to make sure you are okay.
Are You Interested in Dental Sedation?
If the thought of receiving dental sedation is appealing, please contact Pacific Northwest Prosthodontics and speak to our friendly dental team. We can discuss all available options with you in more detail, including how they may help your situation. Don’t worry if it has been years or even decades since you last visited the prosthodontist because we never judge but we would love to help you!
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