Sedation dentistry is the use of sedation techniques during dental treatment. Sedation dentistry is most commonly used during extensive procedures, for patients with dental phobia or for patients who find it difficult to sit still. An estimated 75 Million Americans hold some degree of fear or anxiety regarding visits to the dental office. Alki Family Dental has the ability to offer Sedation Dentistry to patients who’s anxiety has prevented them from seeing their dental providers
Alki Dental is equipped and ready to provide sedation methods including:
- Nitrous oxide (“laughing gas”)
- Oral sedation
- Intravenous (IV) sedation.
What is IV Sedation?
Sedation is an important part of comprehensive dental care, and can help patients who are fearful of the dentist or who require extensive treatment to remain calm and relaxed in the dentist’s chair. While Alki Dental offers a variety of dental sedation options, intravenous sedation (or IV sedation) is the most potent option, and is usually recommended for patients who require high levels of sedation.
Who benefits most from IV Sedation?
IV sedation is most often recommended for patients requiring complex restorative treatment, such as dental implant placement and other minor oral surgeries. Before recommending IV sedation, Dr. Chi will consult with the patient to discuss the procedure, and overall health history, to ensure that procedure is both necessary, and safe.
What are the benefits of dental sedation?
Benefits to sedation dentistry, include:
- No memory of undergoing the procedure
- No sense of time while under sedation
- No sense of smell or sound
- No fear or anxiety during treatment
Patients who have undergone a procedure using sedation dentistry will tell you it is a simple, relaxing way to experience dentistry.
How does Sedation Dentistry Work?
There are three levels (or states) of sedation that Alki Family Dental can administer during a patients sedation dentistry procedure.
The lightest form of sedation is used for patients with mild anxiety, patients undergoing longer procedures, or when complex solutions need to be administered. This type of sedation is typically applied orally. This type of sedation will likely leave the patient awake but comfortable and relaxed through the entire procedure.
Moderate sedation is usually applied with patients that have a greater sense of dental phobia, are experiencing a longer or more complex procedure. As in minimal sedation, the patient may remain awake, but will be in a much deeper state of relaxation. It is recommended that patients bring a friend (or family member) when undergoing moderate sedation procedures as the effects may take a few hours to completely wear off and it would be unsafe to drive following the procedure.
During deep sedation procedures, patients will fade between consciousness and unconsciousness states during their dental treatment. Patient are not likely to have recollection of the procedure but will still be able to respond to commands. Because the sedation takes a few hours to wear off, Alki Family Dental highly recommends that patients make alternate arrangements for transportation.
How are Sedation Dentistry techniques applied?
- Inhalation Method is the most common method of administering sedatives . Recovery is typically quick so patients can resume normal activities immediately.
- Oral Method is another common way of administering dental sedation. Oral method is easy and does not require the use of needles. Alki Family Dental provides patients with a prescription pill that is taken approximately an hour prior to the appointment. By the time the patient arrives at the dentist office, they will be fully relaxed.
- Intravenous (IV) With IV sedation, the sedative is administered directly into a vein or intravenously. This type of sedative can be quickly modified to the patients state of conscientiousness and can be continued for as long as necessary during the dental treatment.
Who is Sedation Dentistry suited to?
Sedation dentistry is best suited to patients that experience one or more of the following:
- Patients with dental phobia
- Low pain tolerance
- Major dental treatment
- Physical handicaps
- Strong gag reflexes
Procedures that typically involve sedation.
The following treatments often require some sort of sedation
- Root canals
- Cosmetic procedures
- Periodontal treatments.
Sedation is an effective way to make many patients comfortable during a dental visit.