Unfortunately, many patients are terribly anxious about getting dental care, even routine exams and cleanings in severe cases. These patients may be tempted to just avoid coming into our office, but by giving them access to sedation dentistry, we can help them get the dental care they need to preserve their smiles and overall health.With sedation dentistry, patients are able to achieve a state of deep relaxation while under our care. Although some providers refer to this method as “sleep dentistry,” the patient actually remains conscious and able to respond to the dentist’s or prosthodontist’s commands throughout the procedure. Unlike with general anesthesia, the airway is not compromised and in need of being maintained artificially. However, the sedatives have an amnestic effect, which means that the patient should have no recollection of the appointment after the fact – eliminating negative memories that can reinforce dental fear!The sedative medications can be delivered in a number of different ways, according the patient’s preferences and the requirements of the procedure being performed. The options include:
- Intravenous sedation: The sedative drugs are delivered directly into the patient’s bloodstream via an IV drip and take effect within minutes. The effects wear away slowly after the appointment, and the patient must plan to have a responsible adult serve as an escort home afterward.
- Oral sedation: A good alternative for patients who are skittish about needles, pills from anti-anxiety classes of medications can be taken in advance of the appointment to achieve the desired effect. Because the medication will start to take effect on the way to the appointment, the patient should have someone else drive to the appointment and drive home as well.
- Nitrous oxide: The patient inhales a gaseous form of sedative that is not as deep as the other two options. The effects of nitrous oxide are reversed quickly after the appointment.
You don’t necessarily need to suffer from dental fear to benefit from sedation dentistry, either. Sometimes, patients will work with a prosthodontist on extensive smile makeovers designed to dramatically improve the appearance of their smiles. These interventions can be time-consuming, and sedation dentistry can make the process more tolerable.
Sedation dentistry in our practice is provided by Dr. Eitan Gross, who is a board-certified anesthesiologist. The patient’s vital signs are constantly monitored for any signs of distress during the procedure that would require some sort of intervention for the patient’s safety and well-being.
- I absolutely praise Dr. Taskonak for the high level of dentistry he provides to his patients. I’ve known him for few years and the quality of his work, reason why I would recommend his practice as your primary dentist and specialty needs. He is extremely knowledgeable, honest and far well trained than most dentist in the area. He will undoubtedly recommend the treatment plan that the patient needs, instead of what the practice needs to produce, unlike other practitioners. I’m overly satisfied with my treatment.Jenny D.
- Dr. Taskonak and his staff are so wonderful, warm and professional. I came into Dr. T’s office knowing I needed a lot of work. I’ll just be honest, I put off visiting the dentist because of anxiety and I didn’t want to be judged. Dr.T came up with my treatment plan which was pretty extensive but when I left the office I felt excited to get started. Through the process Dr.T was quick, gentle and dealt with my “moments” professionally. Now I’m in the process of having Invisalign and I couldn’t be more happy with the results so far! I used to have my hesitations about the dentist but now I look forward to seeing Dr.T and his staff.Chelsea N.
They provide consistent excellent care!! Everybody here is so nice and warm!! Dr. Taskonak is very experienced and knowledgeable. I highly recommend this place!! Thank you all!!Kris M.
Patients may have a number of questions about different aspects of sedation dentistry, including the following:
What is dental anxiety and phobia?
Some patients may have a history of negative experiences in getting dental care, especially if they first saw the dentist in decades when today’s advanced technology, tools and techniques were not yet available. Other patients may be influenced by a general societal perception that dental care is associated with discomfort. Regardless of the underlying cause of dental fear, these patients too often postpone care until an emergency develops or avoid it entirely, endangering their oral health. In some patients, this fear is so pronounced that they don’t even seek routine dental care.
What is conscious sedation for dental work?
Conscious sedation helps fearful patients relax enough to tolerate dental procedures. The medications do not render them unconscious, however, so this approach is generally considered to be safer than general anesthesia. Furthermore, the patient remains able to cooperate with the prosthodontist and follow instructions during the appointment.
How should I prepare for the sedation?
Preparation depends on the delivery method for the medications. Oral sedatives must be taken in advance of the appointment so that they will achieve the desired effect in enough time for the appointment. IV sedation may require fasting after midnight prior to your procedure. Dr. Taskonak will give you specific instructions on the steps you must take to prepare for your sedation.
How much does sedation dentistry cost?
Because different equipment and medications are used as part of sedation dentistry, the cost will depend on the delivery method that you use and other factors unique to your case. We can discuss this with you at an initial consultation at which we plan for the sedation.
Can sedation dentistry potentially benefit you? We are happy to provide any additional information that you may need about your sedation dentistry options. Call our office to speak to one of our knowledgeable staff members about this aspect of your care.