Sedation dentistry, dentistry while you sleep, is the answer for those who fear visiting the dentist. At Premier Dentistry of Jupiter, Dr. Michael Gorman has different methods of conscious sedation at his disposal, ensuring that his patients can be as comfortable as possible during their procedures.
Candidates for Sedation
The following types of people might be candidates for sedation dentistry:
- Those with very sensitive teeth
- Those who have a bad gag reflex
- Those unable to sit still in the dental chair
- Those with a low pain threshold
- Those who need to complete a significant amount of dental work
Several different anxiety-lessening methods of conscious sedation are available to all of Dr. Gorman’s patients:
Oral Conscious Sedation
Oral medications such as Valium or Halcion will allow patients to relax, especially during long procedures. Patients who choose oral conscious sedation will take a pill approximately an hour before the procedure. A local anesthetic will also be administered prior to the start of the procedure. Patients will feel deeply relaxed, but will be able to communicate with Dr. Gorman. One of Premier Dentistry of Jupiter’s experienced staff members will be at your side at all times to ensure that the patient is monitored at all times.
Oral Conscious Sedation is the most common type of sedation dentistry, patients will need to be picked up from the dental office because the aftereffects of the sedation will take several hours to wear off.
Commonly known as laughing gas, nitrous oxide has been used by dental professionals for decades. This technique allows the patient to feel very relaxed during a procedure. While nitrous oxide will not put a patient into a deep sleep, some patients will drift into a light sleep after the gas has been administered. Most patients will be affected by the gas approximately 20 seconds after it is administered through a nasal apparatus. A local anesthetic will also be administered prior to the start of the procedure.
There are typically no aftereffects to nitrous oxide, with no increase in post-procedure recovery time, and patients can typically drive themselves home after the procedure. Because some patients with certain medical conditions are unable to be treated using nitrous oxide, Dr. Gorman will discuss your sedation options with you during your initial appointment.
Intravenous (IV) Sedation
For patients who want a deeper level of relaxation during their dental procedure, Dr. Gorman will inject a sedative directly into the bloodstream through a blood vessel in the patient’s arm or hand. At any time, an antidote can be administered to reverse the effects of the medication. A local anesthetic will also be administered prior to the start of the procedure. Patients will remain conscious throughout the procedure, but they will feel no pain.
This method permits Dr. Gorman to adjust the level of sedation continually during the procedure. It also eliminates the expense of having your treatment take place in a same-day surgical facility or operating room. Patients who wish to complete extensive dental procedures during a single visit might choose IV sedation in order to make their treatment as comfortable as possible.