HOW DOES SEDATION DENTISTRY WORK
So first things first, let us just tell you that whether you are awake or asleep at our office, we will always make sure you are comfortable and safe. Although there are many options for sedation dentistry, they are options. You don’t have to choose to utilize them. Patients often build trust and confidence, and eventually don’t require dental sedation for their treatment any longer. That’s the ultimate success in dental phobia and dental anxiety!
Sedation dentistry is an efficiency amplifier. We have many patients that were recommended for 20 visits of treatment at other offices, and with use of dental sedation, the same procedure can be completed in 3 to 4 visits. Dental sedation can be a powerful tool to help you accomplish great things in dentistry, depending on your needs.
Oral sedation can be a great tool for remaining calm, particularly if your dental anxiety is caused by a fear of needles. The way oral sedation works is the patient is given an oral pill prior to treatment. The pill could be a single medication or a cocktail of medications depending on the desired effect. You’re probably wondering what medications are used for oral sedation, right? Basically, common anti-anxiety pills are the primary workhorses for dental oral sedation. The most commonly used medications belong to the “benzodiazepine” family which are drugs such as Valium, Halcion, Xanax, or Ativan. These drugs decrease anxiety by binding and toning down activity within “fear” receptors in the brain. The medications also make the patient feel as if they are sleeping and help to reduce memory and awareness during treatment.
Advantages to patients include:
- Treatment is completed when you are in a more relaxed mood.
- You will have less difficulty sitting through a lengthy procedure.
- Multiple treatments and full mouth restorations can occur at during the same visit.
- Less discomfort after treatment.
You’ve probably also heard of IV sedation dentistry called “sleep dentistry” or “twilight sedation.” These are all similar terms to describe IV sedation. This is what sets our office apart from other dental practices; it is our niche, if you will.
IV sedation is our most popular choice by patients for dental sedation because it allows for precision in the application of sedatives. More control means more comfort and safety.
At our office we often combine the benefits of oral sedation and IV sedation. So if you are afraid of needles or the process in general, don’t be! We typically prescribe an anti-anxiety medication that you can take before your IV sedation visit. You will be relaxed before you even come in the door.
“IV sedation” (twilight sedation) is designed to make dental procedures relaxed and efficient. It will enable you to tolerate the process, not remember those procedures, and even sleep during procedures. It will help alleviate the anxiety associated with your treatment. You may not always be asleep but you will be comfortable, calm and relaxed, drifting in and out of sleep – a “twilight sleep”.
So you’re probably wondering where your treatment is completed. If you choose the option of intravenous sedation your IV sedation/anesthesia is administered and monitored by Dr. Sutera and his team in our board-certified office. There’s no need to worry about the costly expense of having your treatment carried out in an operating room or same-day surgical facility. Dr. Sutera is a national leader in IV sedation dentistry, as well as one of only a multidisciplinary dentist that is a board-certified IV sedation dentist in the Boston area and the entire east coast.