If you need to have dental work completed, we recommend visiting a sedation dentist. At Scott Dexter, DDS, we offer sedation dentistry for patients living in and around the El Dorado Hills area. We understand that for millions of adults, visiting the dentist can be an overwhelming or frightening experience due to dental anxiety. This common condition typically starts by a negative experience or becoming fearful of the general idea of dentistry. While common, you do not have to be concerned about visiting our dentist office because we can ensure your comfort the entire time.
When you schedule an appointment with us, let us know if you have dental anxiety so that we can prepare for your visit accordingly. For many people, the actual procedure is not uncomfortable but it is the anxiety and worry that causes angst. With this in mind, we often prescribe an oral sedative or laughing gas that can be administered prior to the appointment to help a person relax. While this is not a pain killer, it eases the fear and relaxes the body so that you can remain peaceful while having teeth cleaned, or dental work performed. While the dosage is different, laughing gas can be used on both children and adults so that all of our El Dorado Hills patients can remain comfortable.
SEDATION DENTISTRY FOR DENTAL ANXIETY
Dental sedation is a technique that can be used when a patient suffers from dental anxiety or dental phobia. We are happy to offer a number of solutions for our patients to make their dental visit as comfortable as possible. Sedation dentistry techniques enable patients – who might otherwise avoid the dentist – to receive dental treatment necessary for a healthy smile.
Depending on the extent of the anxiety or phobia, varying degrees of dental sedation can be utilized as described below.
Nitrous Oxide Sedation
Nitrous Oxide sedation, also known as “laughing gas” is commonly used to make treatment more comfortable. This sedation is inhaled through a mask that allows you to breathe in the medication and induces a state of relaxation. Local anesthetic will be administered in conjunction with nitrous oxide to eliminate pain.
This medication can be given to a patient the night before a dental procedure or 30 minutes to an hour prior to the dental appointment, depending on the severity of the anxiety. Oral sedatives do not provide pain relief, so an injection of local anesthetic will also be administered.
Intravenous (IV) Sedation
IV Sedation provides relaxation medication through a small needle inserted in your hand or arm. Like oral sedatives, IV sedation does not provide pain relief, so a local anesthetic will also be administered. Intravenous sedation allows patients to still be awake but in an extreme state of relaxation, feeling little or no pain.
Types of Sedation Dentistry
There are various levels and types of sedation. During your consultation, we will discuss the recommended procedure with you along with any anxieties you may have. At that time, a recommendation will be made for the type of sedation you may want to consider. The ultimate decision is up to you based on how you believe you will handle the procedure. In many cases, our patients simply need to relax and prefer to use laughing gas in order to do so. It is quick, effective, and wears off when the procedure is finished without impairing any other bodily functions. Some patients use this to relax when getting their teeth cleaned since there is no actual pain associated with the treatment.
When a cavity is being treated or other minor dental work performed, patients may prefer to use a combination of laughing gas and localized pain medication. After numbing the surface of the gums, we can inject pain medication that numbs the area that is being worked on. As a sedation dentist, this is an effective tool for us to prevent and eliminate any discomfort. We can administer as much medication as is necessary throughout the course of the treatment, and only that specific area will remain numb. The benefit of this type of sedation is how localized it is. For example, if a cavity is being treated on one side of the mouth, the other side will remain fully functional. This way you can eat immediately after the treatment while the numbing effect wears off the other side.
If a more intensive procedure is required, patients may prefer IV medication for a more thorough effect. When sedation is administered through this means the numbing effect is more pervasive and not confined to that one specific area of the mouth. It is extremely effective and as a sedation dentist, we find that many of our patients request this type of medication because they want to ensure that they do not feel anything while having dental work performed. If this is the case, the effect can still wear off fairly quickly after the treatment is over, but we do recommend having a friend or family member drive you home just in case.
Check out what others are saying about our sedation dental services on Yelp: Sedation Dentist El Dorado Hills.
For those needing oral surgery, total sedation may be necessary or preferable. This is often referred to as sleep dentistry because a patient is put to sleep and will not remember anything from the procedure. As a sedation dentist, we find that this is an excellent solution when a patient is getting a full smile makeover. When the majority of teeth are being worked on, the procedure can take a significant amount of time. We need to do dental work with precision and that requires not rushing through the procedure. With that in mind, our El Dorado Hills patients may find it difficult to hold still when the treatment lasts longer than an hour or two. Going to sleep is a much better option because your body will naturally remain still, you will feel comfortable and not remember what took place during the treatment. If this is your preferred method of sedation dentistry, we will monitor you carefully during the treatment and afterwards to ensure that the anesthesia wears off like it should. You will also need to have someone drive you home and may feel slightly sluggish for the remainder of the day. These types of procedures typically call for rest and relaxation anyway, so take it easy at home before resuming normal activity the next day.
If you live in the El Dorado Hills area and are interested in visiting a sedation dentist, call (916) 233-0910 to schedule your appointment. At Scott Dexter, DDS, we will take the time to get to know you and understand what all of your concerns are prior to making a formal recommendation as to the type of sedation dentistry that you should consider. We will also need to know if you have any other health issues, risks, or are allergic to anything. Typically, if you have responded well to pain medication or sedation in other medical treatments, you will do well with sedation dentistry and not experience any negative side effects. Still, if you have questions or concerns be sure to discuss them with us. With any type of dental work, it is important to be well informed and make a decision that you feel is best for your health and your goals. As such, we want you to be an informed and educated patient. Thanks to modern technology, if you are afraid of having dental work done or visiting the dentist in general, you no longer have to be. As a sedation dentist, we can ensure that your experience is a positive one. Call 916-233-0910 for more information or to get started.
Helpful Related Links
- American Dental Association (ADA). Glossary of Dental Terms. 2015
- American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry® (AACD). Home Page. 2015
- WebMD. WebMD’s Oral Care Guide. 2015
About our business, license, and website security
- Scott Dexter, DDS was established in 1991
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