Sedation Dentistry in Melbourne, FL
It is normal for some people to have apprehension about going to the dentist. Whether it’s due to a past experience or some other reason, their fear often keeps them from going to the dentist for even routine care. Sooner or later, it catches up with them and a visit to the dentist becomes a feared necessity. Fortunately, Implant Dentistry of Florida offers a number of sedation methods to reduce fear and anxiety.
What Is Sedation Dentistry?
Sedation dentistry allows patients to receive medication that enables them to relax while they undergo dental treatment. This is especially true for patients that suffer from dental phobia. In order to combat this phobia, sedation options are provided to patients to help reduce overall nervousness and anxiety that sometimes accompany a visit to the dentist. As a result of sedation, patients may feel as though extensive treatment only lasted a few minutes.
Sedation Dentistry Benefits
By using sedation, patients can feel comfortable during even the most complex procedures. Patients can now receive lengthy procedures in fewer appointments while under sedation. In addition to being very helpful to patients who experience dental phobia, sedation dentistry may benefit those who:
- Patient easily gags
- Experience gum or tooth sensitivity
- Have a low threshold for pain
- Have a hard time sitting still
- Require a large amount of dental work
Types of Sedation Dentistry
At Implant Dentistry of Florida, Dr. Brown was trained in intravenous conscious sedation at Georgetown University Hospital and in the United States Air Force. Dr. Vaughn was trained in intravenous moderate sedation at the University of Kentucky. Additionally, they both have a license from the State of Florida Board of Dentistry to administer moderate sedation. Our office offers a number of sedation options including:
- Local Anesthesia
- Nitrous Oxide
- Oral Sedation Dentistry
- IV Sedation Dentistry
Local anesthesia allows agents to block conduction along the nerve pathways so that patients do not feel the pain. The first synthetic local anesthetic in use was Novocaine and was the top anesthetic until lidocaine was developed. Lidocaine now remains the most commonly used dental anesthetic. A few years ago, Septocaine was developed. This anesthesia allows patients to receive the same pain-free visit with half the dosage of novocaine and lidocaine.
Nitrous Oxide has been in use during dental procedures since the 1800s. It is also known as “laughing gas”, “happy gas”, or “sweet air” since it produces a slight euphoria and calming effect. The advantage of choosing nitrous oxide is that it is completely eliminated from your body about 5-10 minutes after administration has been stopped. After we stop administering the nitrous oxide, patients will breathe in 100% oxygen for 5-10 minutes and are then ready to drive home.
“Love, love, love! I have high levels of anxiety and the staff and Dr. were amazing. They walked me through every little step…. make me feel as comfortable as I possibly can be…. truly thankful for them!” -Nakia M.
Oral Sedation Dentistry
For patients who experience slightly more anxiety at the dental office, we can administer oral sedatives. Among the most common anti-anxiety agents we provide are Valium, Lorazepam, or Halcion. Patients will take these tablets by mouth about one hour before the procedure that produces a very calm state. In addition, many of these medications have very good amnesia properties, meaning you may not remember much of your visit.
IV Sedation Dentistry
For patients who experience a high degree of anxiety are candidates for moderate sedation, also known as conscious sedation. This is the highest level of sedation we offer and it is administered through an intravenous (IV) line in your arm or hand. While under sedation, our staff will continuously monitor your blood oxygen saturation, pulse rate, blood pressure, and heart rhythm. With moderate sedation, you are awake and able to respond to commands but are in a state of extreme relaxation. Most patients have no memory of the procedure afterward.
The Sedation Dentistry Process
The process of undergoing sedation at the dentist’s office is quick and simple. Talk with your dentist prior to your visit to arrange the best sedation method for you or your loved one. On the day of your appointment, one of the following will occur:
- A small nasal mask will be applied over the nose to deliver nitrous oxide. For this form of sedation, the mask needs to stay in place for the duration of the procedure. As we come to the end of treatment, nitrous oxide will be decreased and oxygen increased. Within moments, the effects of the sedative will be gone.
- A pill or liquid sedative will be taken one hour before treatment. Within 10 to 40 minutes, feelings of anxiety and fear will be gone. A slightly sleepy sensation may develop. Some patients doze off during their procedure but can be easily woken when the time comes.
- An IV line will be inserted into the arm at the onset of the procedure. A small monitor will be affixed to a finger to record vitals such as blood oxygen level while under sedation. Within moments of the sedative being administered, light sleep is likely to occur. It may take a few minutes of resting for alertness to return. Slight grogginess may linger for a few hours.
Which Form of Sedation Is Most Common in Dentistry?
Each of the three types of sedation is commonly used in general, cosmetic, and restorative dental procedures. Due to ease of use and minimal side effects, oral conscious sedation may be the most appealing option for adult patients. This method involves the consumption of a pill about an hour before their procedure and nothing more. Once the effects of their sedative activate, their fear is no longer a factor and time goes by very quickly for them.
What does oral sedation feel like?
Oral conscious sedation, which is used for mild to moderate dental anxiety, removes sensations of fear by binding to receptors in the brain. Thirty to sixty minutes after ingesting an oral sedative, you may feel somewhat drowsy. Patients say that their oral sedative creates distance between them and their procedure; they know what’s happening but don’t have any feelings about it. A procedure that takes an hour or two seems to go by in just a few minutes.
Will I Be Put to Sleep?
Dental sedation typically does not cause a person to go to sleep. Sedation is not the same thing as general anesthesia techniques that are used in general surgery. With general anesthesia, patients need assistance breathing and are intubated for this purpose. With dental sedation, patients can breathe and swallow on their own. No intubation is needed. Vital signs are monitored during procedures in which IV sedation is used, and the patient may drift off into a light sleep for the short time they are in the office.
Side Effects of Sedation Dentistry
Mild side effects may occur post-procedure and patients sometimes require assistance in getting home, especially with minimal and moderate sedation. After their procedure, patients may experience dizziness, drowsiness or nausea. These side effects should subside shortly but It is important to discuss your concerns with our staff during your consultation.
Is Sedation Dentistry Safe?
Sedation has been used in dentistry for many years and in medicine for even longer. The types of sedative medications that are commonly prescribed for dental procedures are well-known for their safety and efficacy. Their controlled use provokes a state of relaxation without altering the patient’s ability to breathe and swallow on their own. Therefore, the risk of adverse reaction is quite low. If you have a medical condition such as sleep apnea or other breathing disorder, talk with your dentist to learn more about the possible effects of sedation. Your comfort and safety are our top concerns.
Is Sedation Dentistry Safe for Children?
Sedation can be a beneficial aspect of pediatric dentistry as it enables children to view their dental visits in a better light. Studies suggest that children who are frightened to see the dentist may have a more difficult time maintaining oral health as they grow. In most cases, only light sedation is needed to help a child feel much more comfortable during their exam or dental procedure. Nitrous oxide, an inhaled sedative, is quickly effective and has minimal side effects if any. Because this form of sedation loses potency within a few minutes of treatment, it may be ideal for a younger patient whom a parent does not want to feel out of sorts after their dental visit. However, there are also situations for which oral or IV sedation may be more appropriate. Each method has a strong history of use in dentistry and each is carefully dosed to ensure the best outcome.
How Will I Feel After the Oral Sedation Is Over?
Sensations after dental sedation differ based on the type of sedative used.
- Full consciousness and alertness are regained within 5 to 10 minutes of stopping nitrous oxide sedation.
- Slight grogginess may linger for a few hours after oral conscious sedation or IV sedation. For this reason, patients should not drive or attempt to resume normal activities right away.
- In some cases, dizziness or nausea may occur before the effects of sedation wear off.
Why Choose Implant Dentistry of Florida?
At Implant Dentistry of Florida Drs. Brown and Vaughn have extensive training in sedation methods. They both maintain CPR/AED and ACLS certifications, as well as, regularly take continuing education classes in sedation and emergency medical management. Both Dr. Brown and Dr. Vaughn are members of the American Dental Society of Anesthesiology and the Florida Dental Society of Anesthesiology.