Stress-Free Sedation Dentistry
Have you put off or avoided dental treatment due to anxiety or fear? If so, you’re not alone. Many patients suffer from dental anxiety, a common phobia that prevents them from seeking the dental treatment they need. However, the longer treatment is delayed, the more serious the complications that arise.
Sedation dentistry can help patients feel at ease during their procedures. At the Center for Advanced Dentistry, Dr. Howard is proud to offer a variety of sedation methods. Read on to learn if dental sedation can help you conquer your dental anxiety.
What is Sedation Dentistry?
Sedation dentistry allows patients to relax or enter a state of sleep during their visits. With sedation dentistry, you may have little to no memory of the procedure, which patients with dental anxiety often find helpful.
Dental sedation also allows for complex procedures to be performed safely in one visit to our Loveland office. A member of our team will monitor you throughout your procedure to ensure you’re safe and comfortable. By the end of your appointment, you’ll be awake and able to carry on with your day.
When is Sedation Dentistry Necessary?
Dr. Howard may recommend dental sedation to patients with:
- Moderate or severe dental anxiety
- Resistance to anesthesia
- Bad gag reflex
- Complex dental problems
- Tooth Sensitivity
- Fear of needles
Who is a Candidate for Sedation Dentistry?
While dental sedation is a convenient way to ease dental phobia, it isn’t for everyone. Patients may be deemed ineligible for sedation if they have:
- Thyroid disorders
- Conflicting medications
- Liver or kidney diseases
- Respiratory problems
At your initial consultation, Dr. Howard will determine if dental sedation will be safe and effective for you. No matter your eligibility, he’ll work to ensure you’re at ease during your appointment.
Our Safe Sedation Methods
Sedation can be administered through several different methods, depending on the overall health and level of relaxation required by the patient. Depending on a patient’s anxiety levels, different degrees and types of sedation may be required.
Oral Conscious Sedation
Oral conscious sedation involves taking one or two pills orally about an hour before your visit. Because this method doesn’t require the use of dental tools, it’s ideal for patients with a fear of needles. With the oral conscious sedation method, you’ll be fully relaxed during your appointment, though you won’t fall asleep.
Most patients will simply become drowsy and have little to no memory of the procedure once the sedation wears off. However, since oral conscious sedation can last for several hours following administration, it’s advised you arrange for a ride home after your appointment.
Intravenous (IV) Sedation
Intravenous (IV) sedation is administered through an IV line in your arm. This method involves a deeper level of sedation, and most patients report having no memory of their procedure. During IV sedation, you’ll enter a “twilight sleep” in which you’ll be completely relaxed but still able to respond to prompts from a dental professional.
Because IV sedation causes extreme relaxation, it’s best to arrange for a ride home and avoid strenuous physical activity afterward.
Also known as “laughing gas,” nitrous oxide is an inhaled gas that creates a relaxed feeling with no decreased consciousness or amnesia. Because nitrous oxide is administered through a mask, it’s another ideal option for patients who experience a fear of needles.
This method can quickly relax patients, but will also rapidly wear off once the mask is removed. Unlike other sedation methods, it’s completely safe to drive yourself home after being sedated with nitrous oxide.
Frequently Asked Questions
No matter the type of sedation administered, patients won’t feel any pain during their procedures. Dr. Howard will ensure your visit is painless and stress-free. Patients may experience mild discomfort once the sedation fades, but this pain can be managed using over-the-counter pain relievers and cold compresses.
This depends on the method of sedation you had administered before your procedure. Typically, we suggest allowing 24 hours for the effects of sedation to fully wear off. Following sedation, it’s normal to experience:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Dry mouth
- Trouble remembering the procedure
It’s essential to follow all aftercare instructions Dr. Howard gives you to avoid any complications. This includes getting plenty of rest and staying hydrated.
Our dental professionals ensure that all sedation methods are administered in a safe and controlled environment. A member of our team will monitor you through your appointment to make sure you’re safe and at ease.
Additionally, Dr. Howard has been providing sedation dentistry to apprehensive patients for more than 30 years. He is one of the few dentists in Colorado that has been trained and certified by the state dental board to provide not only oral sedation but also IV sedation.
Feel At Ease During Your Appointment
Dental sedation has helped many patients relax during their appointments. No matter the severity of your dental anxiety, our sedation methods may be the ideal solution for you. To schedule a consultation with Dr. Howard, call our Loveland office at (970) 669-3918. You can also request an appointment online by filling out our contact form.