CAN SEDATION HELP ME COPE WITH MY DENTAL FEAR?
Yes it can! Lets face it, seeing a dentist is not the most pleasant experience in life. Sedation can help the anxious patient and it’s safe and effective. To better understand the way it works, let’s break this down more by understanding the different types of sedation.
Not all types of sedation are the same. We can offer our patients 3 different types of sedation:
Inhalation Sedation is where you breathe in gas such as laughing gas or nitrous oxide. By wearing a mask around your nose, the gas is effectively distributed. The gas wears off quickly, making this the only sedation method where it is safe to drive yourself home afterwards.
Oral Sedation uses pills to sedate a patient. Some may actually fall asleep. For this type of sedation, the dentist will prescribe a safe dosage of a benzodiazepine, such as Valium or Halcion, to be taken prior to the appointment. With oral sedation the patient will be monitored during the dental visit to verify a steady breathing rhythm..
Intravenous Sedation is administered by pushing medication directly into your bloodstream. This type of sedation is the most effective since it can be dosed appropriately to the desired effect. The effects are almost immediate as it takes about twent seconds for the medication to reach the brain and the doctor can safely titrate or balance the dosage to get optimum results. This method can also be used to achieve deep sedation, but this technique is reserved for our oral surgeon who has advanced training in managing the airway.
Are the sedation medications safe to use?
Yes, all of the medications that we use are very safe! Like anything in life, safety is dependent on the experience of our doctors who have been specially trained in sedation dentistry. The three most common medications that we use:
Midazolam: a benzodiazepine that provides hypnotic state of mind. Not only is this medication safe, but its reversible and can be titrated to effect.
Fentanyl: an opiod that blocks pain.
Propofol: only to be used by an Oral Surgeon or a Dental Anesthesiologist.
What if I am still nervous to come to the appointment?
In cases when patients are too nervous to start the “IV sedation” we will provide a prescribe an oral sedative to be taken prior the the appointment. In this way the patient is already “pre-sedated” prior to coming the the dental appointment. Halcion works great for patients that need to feel “relaxed” before a venipuncture or IV start. Some patients feel better if they get a good night rest prior to their appointment by taking Ambien or Lunesta. Remember, the more relaxed you feel during the appointment, the better you will feel after.
Will I be monitored during my Sedation?
Yes, monitoring is very important! We record not only oxygen levels, continuous heart rate and blood pressure readings, but we even go beyond this by monitoring the respiration rates and carbon dioxide levels. The latter is so vital in maintaining breathing, that it requires a more comprehensive monitoring machine like the nGenuity by CritiCare. Although this goes above and beyond what is needed for consciuos sedation this machine is priceless since take pride in know that we are doing things very safely.
What, besides fear, are other conditions that can benefit from sedation?
Beyond phobia, sedation can also allow patients such as those with a high gag reflex to get their dental work done. Even patients that need long appointments or want to have their treatment done in a single appointment can benefit from the comfort that sedation in a dental setting — for these patients, sedation is a important adjunct to their dental care! Remember, sometimes dentistry may be very long for patients and mundane, but sedation dentistry, time is irrelevant to the patient since a four hour appointment will feel like ten minutes have passed by.
Other than the Dentist, are there any other staff members that are specially trained?
Yes, it is required that the assisting personal are current in basic life support in unlikely event of an emergency, but we go even further with training everyone with frequent emergency exercises. Specifically, airway management is taught not only to assistants but our hygienist. Even the front desk knows how to help in emergencies.
What makes your office so unique when you perform IV Sedation?
A sedation office gets periodically inspected by the State Board to ensure the readiness of the office to manage a sedation case safely. Our office is always committed to using the best and safest sedation techniques. We invest deeply into our staff and equipment to offer the best sedation results. Both Dr. Schwarz and Benjamin are on the forefront of the literature and regulations that guide best practices in sedation medicine. They are very passionate and competent in the use of sedation for achieving the best results. Dr. Paul Schwarz is also State Board Inspector for other offices who want to practice sedation dentistry to to verify that other offices are working within standard of care..
If you are looking for sedation, please consider our team.