What is Sedation Dentistry?
Sedation dentistry, sometimes called “Sleep Dentistry,” is a safe, gentle option used to help patients relax while they are having dental treatment. Medication will be used but you usually remain awake, unless you opt for a general anesthetic which will make you sleep.
Dr. Bullard offers patients three levels of sedation to make you 100% comfortable. The doctor will discuss the sedation options with you so that you can choose the one you prefer and which the doctor feels is best suited to your circumstances:
Option 1: Nitrous Oxide: Nitrous oxide is an invisible and odorless gas. Dr. Bullard simply places a mask over your nose and mouth and you take some deep breaths. The combination of nitrous oxide and oxygen are pumped through the mask. You will start to feel slightly giggly and then relaxed. According to the American Dental Association, nitrous is the most widely used form of gaseous anesthetic in the world.
Option 2: Oral Sedation: The second level of sedation is referred to as oral sedation. Prior to your procedure, Dr. Bullard will prescribe you pills to take orally. The prescriptions are typically Benzodiazepines (Benzos) like Valium or Halcion. These types of drugs are ideal as they are fast-acting and you will not remember the details of the procedure afterward. You will not remember smells or sounds. You will, however, be awake enough to respond to and follow basic commands.
Option 3: IV Sedation: IV sedation refers to the administration of the anti-anxiety medication intravenously rather than taking a pill or breathing through a mask. During IV sedation, you remain awake enough to follow basic instructions, but will likely not remember much of the procedure afterward. IV sedation may require fasting–we will go over pre- and post-procedure instructions with you. You will also need someone you trust to drive you to and from your appointment–that’s the one thing we insist on! It would be best if someone stays with you for an hour or two after you got home if possible. The safety of our patients is always the most important thing for us.
What are the Benefits of Sedation Dentistry?
Being sedated while you have dental work completed brings with it many benefits. Your anxiety will be relieved, you will be less aware or totally unaware of the procedure being carried out and your fear will be a thing of the past.
Who Should Consider Sedation Dentistry?
If the thought of dental treatment fills you with dread, then sedation dentistry is well worth considering. Whether you have a phobia or something less, by allowing your dentist to sedate you, dental treatment can be carried out quickly and efficiently. Talk to your dentist about sedation dentistry if you have problems with any of the following:
A gag reflex that causes problems during treatment
Need to have a vast amount of work carried out
If you qualify as a patient who experiences anxiety, our team can help you determine an appropriate course of sedation dentistry that meets your needs.