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 or at 941-497-5451. 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 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 or at 941-497-5451. Our three convenient locations serve the Sarasota, and Bradenton area of Florida and other nearby communities.