Not everyone looks forward to visiting the dentist. Even worse, some people suffer from severe dental phobia and extreme dental anxiety. These conditions can unfortunately prevent many anxiety-sufferers from getting the crucial general dentistry treatments they need.
If you experience fear or anxiety at the thought of dental visits, The Smile Center can help you feel more comfortable through sedation dentistry. Through the controlled use of safe and effective sedatives, our sedation dentists can ease you into a calm and relaxed state, enabling you to achieve and maintain a strong, healthy, beautiful smile.
To learn more about your sedation options at The Smile Centre, contact us today. If you live in the Sarasota area of Florida, contact our Palm Aire location online or at 941-351-4468. If you live in or around Florida, please contact us online. With three convenient locations, we welcome patients from in and around Sarasota, and Bradenton, Florida.
Is Sedation Dentistry Safe?
By and large, sedation is safe and effective for patients struggling with fear or anxiety. At The Smile Centre, we offer three different sedation options, each with unique benefits, limitations, and risks. During your initial consultation, we will discuss your sedation options and review your candidacy for each to help you select the safest and most efficacious option for you.
How Long Does Dental Sedation Last?
Sedation from nitrous oxide lasts as long as the gas is being supplied. Once the flow is stopped, the effects wear off after three to five minutes.
Both IV sedation and conscious oral sedation can last for several hours. It may be up to 24 hours before you are fully back to “normal.” If you are undergoing one of these deeper sedation options, you will need to arrange for a ride to and from our office.
What Are the Benefits of Sedation Dentistry?
Sedation dentistry allows patients to relax completely, free of anxiety or nervousness, throughout their dental visit. Moreover, dental sedation will enable patients to receive treatment even if they have an overactive gag reflex, sensitive teeth, TMJ, or similar issues that may result in discomfort.
Who Can Use Sedation Dentistry?
We offer several sedation options at The Smile Centre, allowing us to meet the varied needs of each patient. Nitrous oxide is safe and well tolerated. So too are oral conscious sedation and IV sedation. All three options are suitable for patients who may experience emotional or physical discomfort related to their visit.
There may be some medical issues that interfere with heavier forms of sedation. During your initial consultation, we can discuss your options, review your medical history, and help you determine if sedation is a good solution for your needs.
Who Should Not Use Sedation Dentistry?
Sedation dentistry is not recommended for patients who are obsese or suffer from sleep apnea symptoms. If this sounds like you, we recommend consulting your primary doctor about your eligibility for sedation before your dental treatment to ensure it does not increase your risk for further complication. Sedation dentistry may not be recommended for patients who have sever sensitivity to the side effects of anesthesia. Sedation dentistry is also not recommended for patients who are pregnant.
What Does Sedation Dentistry Feel Like?
Sedation dentistry is designed to put patients who feel dental anxiety at ease. Sedation may happen in different ways depending on the dype of sedation you use, but overall the feeling of sedation dentistry typically feels like falling into a deep sleep. While you may not always be asleep, you can expect to feel sleepier, calm, relaxed, and sometimes even drowsiness. It can often be thought of as “too tired” to feel any pressure or discomfort during your dental procedure. Within several minutes, most patients can feel at peace.
Are There Any Risks With Sedation Dentistry?
Just like all dental procedures, sedation dentistry does come with a few risks. These can include lingering drowsiness, dry mouth, headache, and memory loss of your dental treatment. Thes side effects are all common for sedation dentistry, and any pain or discomfort from the sedation is expected to wear off the same night of your procedure.
What Treatments Can Sedation Dentistry Be Used For?
Dental sedation can be administered before any treatment. We can provide safe and adequate levels of sedation for general cleanings, the placing of fillings, root canal, smile makeover, and everything in between.
Will Sedation Also Relieve Pain?
Sedation does not relieve pain, but you will not feel anything during your visit. A combination of sedation and anesthetic is used during procedures that could result in discomfort.
Advanced dental treatments, such as dental implant surgery, may result in slight discomfort following the procedure. We will provide you with instructions to help you maintain optimal comfort during this time as well.
What Types of Sedation Do You Use?
- Nitrous Oxide
- Conscious Oral Sedation
- IV Sedation
The levels of sedation in each of these vary considerably. The best way to learn which suits you is by talking to our team about your needs.
How Do I Know Which Type of Sedation Is Right for Me?
There are many factors that can determine whether Nitrous Oxide, Conscious Oral Sedation, or IV Sedation are the right type of treatment for you. These factors can include the type of dental work you need done, the length of your procedure, health history, how much anxiety you have regarding your treatment, and special needs. During your initial consultation, our highly-skilled doctors who prioritize patient comfort during each procedure will take into consideration your needs and preferences when determining which sedation to use for your dental treatment.
Are There Any Side Effects to Sedation Dentistry?
Nitrous oxide wears off quickly and comes with very few side effects. Confusion and dizziness are common but typically self-correct within a few minutes. You will not need to arrange a ride home if you have undergone sedation with nitrous oxide.
Oral conscious sedation has very few side effects as well. Longer-lasting than nitrous oxide, oral conscious sedation will necessitate a ride home and may come with temporary dry mouth, memory loss, mental fogginess, and headache. These things will self-correct as the medication wears off.
IV sedation has many of the same side effects as oral conscious sedation. Like nitrous oxide and conscious sedation, these issues are temporary and will self-correct as the medication wears off. You will need to arrange for a ride home following IV sedation and may experience temporary nausea, but recovery is typically fast.
Some risks come with dental sedation. However, these are far outweighed by the benefits sedation can offer patients who experience discomfort. We can help you assess the risks and benefits of dental sedation during your initial consultation to determine what is best for you.
What is Recovery and Aftercare for Sedation Dentistry Like?
Recovery from sedation dentistry is short and requires no aftercare. Most patients feel up to normal tasks within an hour of nitrous oxide, but you may need to rest for a day or so after heavier sedation options such as IV and oral.
Depending on the type and amount of sedation used, you may need to stay in the procedure room for up to an hour after your treatment has been completed. We can discuss this in greater detail during your initial consultation to help ensure you are fully prepared.
Are You Asleep During Oral or IV Sedation?
During conscious oral sedation, you are awake and aware of your surroundings. You will be able to respond to simple directions and remain conscious throughout the procedure. The medications used work to alleviate pain and produce a state of complete relaxation. Even though you are awake, you will feel light, comfortable, and relaxed.
IV sedation, also known as twilight sedation, puts you into a conscious-but-relaxed state as well, though this type of sedation is slightly deeper and may require a longer period of rest afterward. Placing you in a state between wakefulness and sleep, you will not have any memory of your procedure if you choose IV sedation.
How Can I Prepare for Sedation Dentistry?
Depending on the type of sedation you are having administered, you may need to avoid food and drink for several hours before your procedure. There may be certain substances, including THC and alcohol, which will need to be avoided in the hours leading up to your procedure, and some medications, herbs, and supplements that may need to be avoided as well. We will provide individual instructions based on your lifestyle to help you fully prepare.
What Is Nitrous Oxide?
Commonly known as laughing gas, nitrous oxide is a gentle, non-addictive gas that can calm your nerves to help you more easily tolerate dental exams, cleanings and other treatments. Nitrous oxide earned its nickname for a reason; it often induces a sensation of euphoria (and can even invoke a case of the giggles). For most patients, the overriding feeling is one of relaxation and tranquility.
Nitrous oxide is gently administered through a comfortable nosepiece. After a few minutes of breathing the gas in through your nose, you will begin to feel the effects of the gas. You’ll be alert and conscious throughout the duration of your nitrous oxide sedation; you’ll just feel more serene. Upon the completion of your dental procedure, the nitrous oxide will be turned off and pure oxygen will be sent through the nosepiece and the effects of the nitrous oxide will quickly diminish.
What Is Oral Sedation?
If you would prefer to attain a more relaxed state than nitrous oxide can provide, The Smile Centre also offers oral sedation, also known as conscious sedation. For this sedation option, you be given a pill to take prior to your appointment. Oral sedation is a popular method among our patients, enabling them to receive important dental treatments comfortably, free from fear and anxiety. Your pulse blood pressure and oxygen levels will be closely monitored throughout your treatment to ensure a safe and pleasant experience.
Oral sedation may be an ideal option for you if:
- You have an aversion to needles
- You are seeking an alternative to nitrous oxide sedation
- You have sensitive teeth or gums
- You are planning on undergoing extensive dental work
- You have TMJ or a severe gag reflex
- It is difficult for you to get numb at the dentist’s office
- You are nervous about visiting the dentist
If you choose this oral sedation, it will be important to find someone to drive you home following your appointment.
What Is IV Sedation?
For cases of extreme dental anxiety or patients who are undergoing extensive restorative work, such as a smile makeover or full mouth reconstruction, IV sedation may be the ideal solution. Also referred to as general anesthesia, this sedation method involves the intravenous delivery of medication.
For this sedation option, medication will be administered through an IV attached to your arm. Your oxygen levels blood pressure and pulse will be constantly monitored throughout the duration of your treatment to ensure your safety.
IV sedation dentistry may be right for you if you:
- Have trouble getting numb at the dentist
- Have an extensive dental problem
- Have sensitive teeth
- Would like to complete extensive treatment in just one visit
- Need to have oral surgery
- Have an overactive gag reflex
- Suffer from mild or severe dental anxiety
As with oral sedation, it will be necessary for you to arrange a ride home with a friend or family member after your procedure. The person helping you may also need to stay with you at home for a few hours while the medication wears off.
Contact Us Today
We know how overwhelming dental anxiety can feel for those who suffer from the condition. To learn how our sedation dentists can help you feel at ease and able to receive the dental care you deserve, contact The Smile Centre today to schedule a consultation. If you live in the Sarasota area of Florida, contact our Palm Aire location online or at 941-351-4468. If you live in or around Florida, please contact us online. Our three convenient locations serve the Sarasota, and Bradenton area of Florida and other nearby communities.