Going to the dentist can incite fear or worry in many people. Most patients feel uneasy on some level during their visit. For some, however, visiting the dentist causes so much anxiety and stress, they are prevented from even making an appointment. If this scenario sounds familiar, sedation dentistry may be for you. Ultima Dental Wellness is here to help!
Your Sedation Dentistry Choice for SW Calgary!
What is Sedation Dentistry?
Sedation dentistry is a way of keeping you calm and relaxed through the use of sedatives during dental procedures. These sedatives may include tranquilizers, nitrous oxide, and anti-anxiety medications via pill form. In some clinics, it is common to administer sedatives via the intravenous or IV method. This involves injecting the sedative directly into the blood vessels of either the arm or hand. Although this method is highly effective, even the thought of a needle in the arm or hand can be stressful for some people.
Medical advancements have helped create alternatives for administering sedatives without using injections. Today, patients can choose oral administration for sedation through the use of nitrous oxide or pill – gone are the needles! Oral sedation paves the way for a painless, relaxing dental visit.
Sedation Dentistry is Ideal for Patients who:
- Are nervous or anxious about their dental care
- Require a lot of dental work at one time
- Have difficulty becoming and staying frozen
- Have a severe gag reflex or are claustrophobic
- Need Oral Surgery like Wisdom Teeth Extraction
- Have a low pain threshold
What are the Benefits of Sedation Dentistry?
- Sedation Dentistry is Safe: You will not be unconscious but will merely be in a deeply relaxed state. No intravenous tubes or needles are required.
- Sedation Dentistry is Pain-Free: It is ideal for patients with a low pain threshold. You will feel no pain while in the dental chair, and you will have little to no memory of the experience.
- Sedation Dentistry allows easier administration of freezing: This is particularly beneficial for patients who have difficulty becoming frozen.
- Sedation Dentistry is Flexible: Depending on the treatment you require, and the level of sedation achieved, sedation dentistry can help you remain relaxed for two to six hours.
- Complex Dental Treatments can be Completed in Just One Visit, rather than multiple visits: You can have crowns or bridges replaced, veneers cemented, numerous fillings are done, a professional cleaning completed with our hygienist, or numerous teeth extracted; all while you remain comfortably relaxed.
- Allows patients to regain confidence in themselves: Because the anxieties that would normally be present are kept under control throughout the painless visit, patients feel far more comfortable and calm sitting through their dental visit. Through the development of this confidence, we have actually had patients return for visits without requiring any sedation at all!
- Sedation dentistry allows patients to feel like treatment is quick: Patients having lengthy procedures (appointments that take more than an hour to perform) may seem to last for only a few minutes for the patient under sedation.
What is Nitrous Oxide?
Nitrous Oxide Sedation is commonly called laughing gas, and provides a light sedation for anxious patients, or any patient who would benefit from feeling more relaxed during their dental visit. It is administered by breathing in a mixture of Nitrous Oxide and Oxygen through the nose to help patients relax and remain in a comfortable state during their dental treatment. Because it’s a gas, it wears off quietly once you stop breathing it in. This is unlike oral sedation, which needs time to wear off. Patients who only receive laughing gas as a sedative are often allowed to drive themselves home after a procedure. This type of sedation is ideal for patients who have mild levels of anxiety and would benefit from a low level of sedation.
While the effects of nitrous oxide are mild, it is quite effective for many dental treatments. And you’ll start to feel the gas very quickly, sometimes as soon as 30 seconds after you start breathing it in. This is ideal for patients having minor dental work or cleanings. Some patients relax enough with nitrous oxide and do not require another form of sedation.
What is Oral Sedation?
Oral Sedation provides light to moderate sedation for patients. It is administered by taking one or two pills of sedation medication. This medication is strong enough to make patients feel sleepy, and therefore relaxed, which helps alleviate the stress or anxiety associated with undergoing dental work. Patients still remain conscious enough to follow the dentist’s instructions throughout the dental procedure. This type of sedation is ideal for patients who have a mid to high level of anxiety.
What is involved in the Oral Sedation Process?
Deciding if oral sedation is right for you involves addressing many factors before reaching a decision. We can take you through every step of the procedure – from the day before treatment to the moment you head back home.
Through pre-treatment consultation, we will check your dental history, your anxiety levels, and other health factors. Taking sedatives may pose risks; therefore, it is very important for us to know about medical conditions that may be adversely affected by sedation medications. After addressing all of these concerns, you and your dentist will decide what type of sedative and dosage will be best suited for your needs.
Because it is unsafe for a sedated individual to operate a motor vehicle, you will require assistance to and from our office from a family member or friend on the day of your appointment. Also, since the effects of sedation may vary from patient to patient, it is prudent to have someone on hand afterward. We recommend having someone take care of you for at least 12 hours following your sedation visit, just to ensure that the sedative is wearing off properly and that you are in a safe environment.