Many people avoid going to the dentist because they experienced traumatic care as a child, suffered painful procedures as an adult, or are influenced by the stereotypes they see on TV and movies. Even when they experience warning signs like pain in the mouth, many people avoid seeking treatment because of the fear they experience. At our office we understand these feelings and want to help. Whether you just need a routine cleaning or a brand-new smile, we offer sedation dentistry to make your experience comfortable and relaxing.
Sedation dentistry is used by many dentists to provide a relaxing, calming experience for patients who are afraid of going to the dentist and/or having dental procedures performed. There are many forms of sedation that can be administered in a variety of ways offering us the flexibility of three levels of sedation – minimal, moderate, and deep – depending on the level of anxiety the patient experiences.
Alphastim, Essential Oils and Homeopathy
For those that do not wish to have a chemical-induced relaxation, we offer a more “natural” alternative. Upon arrival at our office, you will receive a combination of essential oils, calming herbs and the application of the Alphastim (hyperlink). The combination of these modalities will make you feel relaxed.
For those needing a stronger level of sedation than can be achieved with homeopathy or nitrous oxide, oral sedation is available. Oral sedation allows us to relieve anxiety without the use of needles or intravenous tubes. About an hour prior to the dental appointment, you will take a pill that will make you drowsy. By the time you arrive at our office (brought by your escort), you will be feeling relaxed and calm, ready to begin treatment. Your vital signs will be closely monitored during the entire procedure. After your treatment is complete, your escort may drive you home.
Intravenous (IV) Conscious Sedation
IV conscious sedation is an extremely effective technique for managing moderate to severe anxiety. It is also a great way to get a lot of dentistry completed in a single visit. Many of our patients travel long distances to receive their dental care, and IV sedation allows them to have their work done in one visit.
Prior to the dental procedure(s), our nurse anesthetist will administer sedation drugs intravenously. During the procedure, your heart rate, breathing, oxygen levels, blood pressure are closely monitored by both Dr. Wall and the nurse anesthetist. You are conscious during the procedure, but do not feel any pain and don’t remember anything about the procedure.
We are proud to partner with Aspen anesthesia to offer you the benefit of IV conscious sedation.
Nitrous Oxide (N20)
Nitrous oxide has been a mainstay of sedation dentistry for decades and is still the most frequently employed sedation technique today. Nitrous Oxide (N2O)Also known as “laughing gas,” nitrous oxide is also available in our office. Within 5 min of inhaling this odorless, colorless gas, pain neutralized and a euphoric feeling spreads through the body. The dental procedure can begin within minutes of inhalation. Within minutes after the procedure is finished, you will return to feeling “normal.”
Nitrous oxide is commonly used because within 5 minutes of inhaling the colorless, odorless gas pain is neutralized and a euphoric feeling spreads through the body. Within minutes, the dental procedure can begin and the patient will be completely relaxed. Nitrous oxide allows the dentist to alter the depth of sedation from minute to minute, making the experience pain and fear free.
After the gas is stopped, the patient will return to normal within minutes. You will be able to safely drive yourself home and will not need an escort. Nitrous Oxide does not require the use of a needle, so those who are afraid of needles will benefit from this form of sedation. And, nitrous oxide is very safe; there are relatively few side effects and the drugs have no effect on the major organs.
For many procedures Dr. Wall offers, he will recommend local anesthetic. Local anesthetic makes procedures more comfortable. Dr. Wall uses polocaine, prilocaine, procaine and marcaine. Due to the risk of osteonecrosis, Dr. Wall does not use anesthetics containing epinephrine (a potent vasoconstrictor).
Lidocaine is the most common local anesthetic used in dentistry, however, there are many others. All types of numbing drugs are combined with other medications to make the numbing last longer. Numbing usually lasts several hours but wears off over time.
Numbing just the area where dentistry needs to be performed allows the dentist to perform procedures without pain or discomfort. Because you are still conscious, you can answer prompts and commands quickly and easily. And, because you have not been sedated, you can usually drive yourself home or go back to work immediately after the appointment.
Interested in Sedation Dentistry? You May be a Candidate!
Candidates for Sedation Dentistry include people who have:
- Have high levels of fear
- Have had traumatic dental experiences
- Require a lot of dental treatment
- Have difficulty getting numb
- Have very sensitive teeth
- Are traveling a long distance
- Have a severe gag reflex
- Have complex dental problems
- Have an aversion to noises, smells and tastes associated with dental care