If it’s been years since you’ve been to the dentist; if going to the dentist is very difficult for you because of fear, anxiety, sensitive gag reflex, or any other reason, then Sedation Dentistry may be for you. At FWCFD, we let you get nice and cozy before we start any treatment. You’ll have a nice warm blanket, and pick your TV channel or radio station to help ease your mind. Our goal is to get as much treatment completed in one appointment to prevent multiple dental appointments. We even have a CEREC® machine allowing us to complete same day crowns in some instances.
Sedation dentistry refers to the use of sedation during dental treatment. Sedation is most commonly used during extensive procedures, for patients with dental phobia or for patients who find it difficult to sit still. There are different types of sedation, including nitrous oxide (laughing gas), IV sedation, oral sedatives and general anesthetic.
Sedation can range from the use of nitrous oxide to calm a patient to general anesthetics used to put patients to sleep. Patients with dental phobia, low pain tolerance, major dental treatment, physical handicaps or strong gag reflexes may require sedation. Procedures like fillings, crowns, bridges, root canals, extractions, cosmetic procedures and periodontal treatments often require sedation.
Nitrous oxide, more commonly known as laughing gas, is often used as a conscious sedative during a dental visit. The gas is administered with a mixture of oxygen and has a calming effect that helps phobic or anxious patients relax during their dental treatment. Because it is a mild sedative, patients are still conscious and can talk to their dentist during their visit. After treatment, the nitrous is turned off and oxygen is administered for five to 10 minutes to help flush any remaining gas. The effects wear off almost immediately. Nitrous oxide rarely has side effects, although some patients may experience minor nausea and constipation. Your doctor will provide you with pre and post-sedation instructions.
Oral sedation is administered by taking 1-2 small pills. The sedative works rapidly to create a relaxed feeling, and although you are in a sleep-like state, you are responsive. The most common medication is Halcion. Halcion provides a deeper level of relaxation and slight amnesia effect. Patients remember little or nothing at all about their dental appointment. With oral sedation, it is essential that someone escorts you home and stays with you while you come out of this sleep-like state. Your doctor will provide you with pre and post-sedation instructions.