If you have dental anxiety, making an appointment to address your periodontal needs can be a challenge. These anxieties can become so severe that they make it difficult to follow through with your appointment or your treatment plan. However, sedation dentistry offers a way to help you leave your anxieties at the door and keep calm during your time in the chair.
The Benefits of Sedation Dentistry
Sedation dentistry offers a way to clear your head of the clouds of anxiety, keeping you calm and delivering a sense of well-being.
Sit comfortably longer – sedation makes for a more comfortable experience when sitting through a long procedure.
Minimize appointments – since sitting still is more comfortable while sedated, you may elect to add more procedures to a single appointment.
Control the gag reflex – sedation can calm an overactive gag reflex, so you are less likely to feel nausea triggered by the periodontists hands or tools.
Remain conscious – with moderate conscious sedation, you can stay conscious however reside in a sleep state. The aftereffects are much less pronounced than general anesthesia performed in a hospital setting where ventilation machines breathe for you.
Amnesia – although Dr. Anderson will ensure you receive excellent care during your procedure, you’ll have little or no memory of your time in the chair.
Considerations for Sedation Dentistry
While ideal for making periodontal appointments much more comfortable, there are important requirements that must be met prior to medication administration. Most importantly, relay your full medical history to the team with all medications you have taken within the past two years. Eating or drinking is not permitted within 8 hours from of your appointment. A driver must bring you to and escort you home after your periodontal therapy.
There are two methods to safely sedate in the periodontal setting. Dr. Anderson was trained at the University of Michigan earning her Masters in Periodontics and included in her training she was certified to proficiently administer both IV and oral sedation. Advanced safely equipment is used to ensure you have an effective yet safe experience. Both forms of sedation are safe and can be tailored to your needs and sedation preferences.
With IV sedation, a benzodiazepine (versed) and narcotic (fentanyl) are delivered through an IV in the arm. The onset is rather fast, so you’ll feel relaxed quickly and your periodontist can get to work without delays.
Oral sedation is an effective alternative to IV sedation. In our office, Dr. Anderson and her team will administer the benzodiazepine medication (halcion) an hour prior to your appointment. During this time you relax in our tranquility room for the medication to take effect. There is no IV involved with oral sedation.
More on Sedation Dentistry in Bloomfield Hills, MI
Nitrous oxide or “laughing gas” can be used during any periodontal procedure in healthy patients. Nitrous works to provide anxiolytic (anxiety) and mild analgesic (pain) reduction during dental work by breathing though a mask. Once the work is completed, oxygen flushes out nitrous oxide clear of your system. There are no eating, drinking, or driver requirements.
Oral conscious sedation
Benzodiazepine medication also known as “oral sedation” is a pill taken in the office 1 hr prior to your appointment to provide anti-anxiety, sedation and amnesia (memory impairment) effects. Patients electing oral sedation are relaxed and may be in and out of sleep during the implant or periodontal procedure. The patient must not eat or drink any fluids for at least 6 hours prior to the appointment. A driver is required and the patient cannot drive for the remainder of the day.
IV conscious sedation
Benzodiazepine (anti-anxiety) and narcotic (pain reduction) medication can also be delivered intravenously or by “IV”. Dr. Anderson would administer or “titrate” these medications to provide a moderate conscious sedation where a deeper level of sedation is reached compared to the nitrous oxide and oral sedation. Patients may not remember their appointment and frequently sleep though the procedure. Benefits of the IV option include narcotic administration for discomfort and immediate access to deepen or lighten the level of sedation experienced. As with oral sedation, IV patients cannot eat or drink for at least 6 hours prior to the appointment and cannot drive that day.
Regardless the sedation method chosen, the patient will always receive local anesthesia or “numbing” for a pain free procedure. Dr. Anderson’s patients electing oral or IV sedation are monitored with EKG, pulse oximetry, and capnography to ensure you are sedated effectively and safety. There are some relative and absolute medical contraindications to the sedation methods listed. Discuss your medical history with Dr. Anderson to ensure you are a candidate for sedation and to determine which option is best for you.