West Linn, OR
Visits to the dentist can be a daunting experience for children and adults alike. The fear of the unknown can make patients hesitant about regular dental checkups or visiting the dentist in case of an emergency. In fact, there are many people who are so scared by the thought of having their teeth pulled that they refuse to check with the dentist and keep sitting on their toothaches or oral infections until the condition becomes serious.
Many a time, dentists are forced to remove the decaying tooth because the patient let the bacterial build-up get worse out of fear. Whereas, if the patient had visited the dentist in the early stages of tooth decay (plaque formation and tartar build-up), procedures like scaling and root planing could have saved their tooth.
For patients who require immediate dental care but have a phobia of dental procedures, dentists use the method of sedation, also known as sedation dentistry, to lull them into a deep sleep. While the patient is unconscious, the dentist performs the necessary procedure and brings them back to consciousness once the procedure has been completed.
Levels of Sedation
There are four main levels of sedation:
Depending on the patient’s anxiety levels, the sedation levels will be increased. It is to be noted that along with sedation, the patient will also be receiving local anesthesia for the mouth to numb the pain caused by procedures like root canals, tooth extraction, and root planing.
Nitrous oxide is commonly referred to as laughing gas. Dentists use nitrous oxide to sedate patients and make them numb to pain and discomfort. With the help of a facemask, the patient is made to breathe nitrous oxide, which instantly tranquilizes them, and the patient experiences the feeling of euphoria and deep relaxation. The amazing thing about nitrous oxide is that after the procedure, as the dentist removes the facemask, the effects of nitrous oxide start to wear off immediately. Within minutes patients regain their senses and can walk or drive back home. Nitrous oxide is one of the most effective and safest options for sedation and is commonly used for sedation dentistry to relieve anxiety.
Another common method of sedation is the use of oral pills or syrup. Medicines like Halcion or Valium are good oral sedatives and can help in achieving mild to moderate levels of sedation. After ingesting these oral medicines, the patient may experience drowsiness, but he or she will still be able to answer questions and respond to stimuli. Oral sedation is commonly used before procedures like tooth extraction to help calm the patient.
IV Sedation and General Anesthesia
Sedatives can also be injected directly into the bloodstream. Intravenous (IV) sedatives and medicines used for general anesthesia are directly injected into the veins to act as a tranquilizer for patients who may have extreme anxiety. These sedatives are also used for complicated and lengthy procedures like dental implant surgeries to keep the patient comfortable for a longer time.
It is to be noted that in this case, the services of an anesthesiologist will be sought to ensure that the dosage is the right amount and does not lead to any adverse side effects. You will be asked to sign a consent form before being sedated, and since the effects of anesthesia will be long-lasting, you will need a ride back home after your surgical procedure.
Schedule Your Appointment
At Roane Family Dental, we take absolute care to perform sedation dentistry and make the procedures painless and comfortable for our patients. Call us today at (503) 974-0464 to schedule your appointment.
I adore Dr. Roane and his staff.
"I have been a patient here for 10 years, since he started this practice. He has fixed my chipped front teeth twice, most recently this week. He is truly an artist and such a nice guy! My teeth look natural and healthy again. As always, the procedure was painless, quick, and professional. The office is clean, the front office is efficient, and everyone is friendly.
Dr. Roane even opened the clinic on New Year's Day a few years ago to treat my daughter's dry socket after she had her wisdom teeth pulled. I will always be grateful for that, and will remain a loyal patient here even though I moved to Tigard 2 years ago."