A significant number of Americans do not visit the dentist for regular checkups because they are too fearful or suffer from dental anxiety. Sedation dentistry offers an excellent way to provide a safe, anxiety-free dental experience to those who are afraid of the dentist. At Martinez Dental Solutions, we offer sedation dentistry services to all our patients. Request an appointment by calling us today.
Safe & Effective Sedation Dentistry
Sedation dentistry is often mistakenly thought to induce sleep. In fact, most sedatives allow the patient to stay awake during the procedure. Sleepiness is a side effect of some medications, but nitrous oxide, oral conscious sedation, and IV sedation only work to calm anxiety throughout the dental visit.
Conscious sedation dentistry is popular because most sedatives can be taken by mouth, meaning no injections, no anxiety, and no pain. Some sedatives work so effectively that even the smells and details of the procedure cannot be recalled afterward. Safety and compliance are two important aspects of treatments, so sedation dentistry offers both the individual and the dentist the best alternative.
Whatever the form of sedative, it is essential to be accompanied by a caregiver. Sometimes, sedatives are provided the night before the dental visit, which means that driving to or from the appointment is not advisable.
What Sedatives Are Available?
The most popular types of dental sedatives are nitrous oxide, oral conscious sedation, and IV sedation. Different levels of sedation (mild, moderate, and deep) can be utilized depending on individual needs. Before administering any sedative, the dentist must analyze the full medical history of the patient, as well as take note of any current medications. At Martinez Dental Solutions we offer nitrous oxide (“laughing gas”) and conscious sedation.
Nitrous Oxide or “Laughing Gas”
This is used as a mild sedative. It is delivered through a nose hood and is administered throughout the entire procedure. Nitrous oxide elevates the general mood and can evoke a general sense of well-being. Most importantly, it relieves anxiety and reduces pain during the procedure. In addition, some tingling and numbness may be felt. There are few side effects associated with nitrous oxide, and it has been safely used in dentistry for many years.
Oral Conscious Sedation
This is an excellent choice for people who fear needles. Oral medication is provided prior to treatment in order to induce a moderate state of sedation. Though oral sedatives do not cause sleep, they usually dull the senses. This means that most patients cannot remember the pain, smells, or noises associated with the procedure. Usually, a dose of medication is taken prior to the appointment and then topped up during the procedure, as needed.
Most of the drugs used in sedation dentistry are classified as benzodiazepines. Benzodiazepines reduce anxiety, muscle spasms, insomnia, and seizures. Each medication has a different half-life, meaning that the effects last for varying amounts of time. The estimated length of the procedure determines which type of drug is going to be most effective.
Below are some of the most common drugs used in oral conscious sedation:
This sedative has amnesic properties and a long half-life. It is usually used for time-consuming, complex procedures.
Usually used to treat insomnia, Halcion is an effective sedative with amnesic properties. A short half-life makes this sedative useful for shorter procedures.
This sedative is best known for reducing anxiety. It has amnesic properties and a medium half-life. Ativan is typically used for treatments shorter than two hours.
This sedative has the shortest half-life and is, therefore, less commonly used. It alleviates anxiety in much the same way as nitrous oxide and is used for visits that will take less than 30 minutes.
What to expect after sedation:
Following most surgical procedures, there may or may not be pain, depending on your threshold for pain. You will be provided with medication for discomfort that is appropriate for you. In most cases, a non-narcotic pain regimen will be sufficient. If a narcotic has been prescribed, follow the directions carefully. If you have any questions about these medications interacting with other medications you are presently taking, please call our office, your physician and/or your pharmacist.
Instructions to follow after sedation:
- You cannot drive for 24 hours after taking sedation medication.
- You cannot operate any hazardous devices for 24 hours.
- Someone should drive you straight home from our office. If possible, ask them to call us to let us know once you are comfortable & safe at home.
- You may seem alert when you leave the office. This may be misleading. You should not be left alone.
- A responsible person should be with you until you have fully recovered from the effects of the sedation.
- You should not go up and down stairs unattended. Preferably, you should stay on the ground floor until recovered.
- Someone should always hold your arm when walking until you have fully recovered from the effects of the sedation.
- Proper nutrition after sedation is important. You should begin eating appropriate foods as soon as possible. Do not delay.
- You need to drink plenty of fluids as soon as possible.
- You should not carry, sleep next to, or be left alone with young children for a period of no less than 24 hours after the last dosage of medication.
- Call us if you have any questions or difficulties. If you feel that your symptoms warrant a physician and you are unable to reach us, go to the closest emergency room immediately.
- You need to make sure your companion is aware of these instructions.
Your Choice for Sedation Dentistry
When you need safe and effective sedation dentistry, call Martinez Dental Solutions. Our priority is to provide comprehensive dental care while making the patient feel comfortable and safe. We accomplish this by offering the following benefits:
- No rotating doctors! Our dentists own and manage our dental offices, and you will always see the same dentist each time you visit
- Most dental services can be completed in our office
- We have 3D imaging technology in-house for more precise treatment planning
The dental hygienist is very sweet and knowledgeable. I just love the atmosphere and the Doctor there too. I have had quite a bit of work done and they have made it seamless and comfortable (as it can be anyway).
First-Rate Sedation Dentistry in Jacksonville
Take advantage of our dental care services by calling to request an appointment today. Since 2006, we’ve been serving Jacksonville as well as San Marco, Middleburg, Southside, Orange Park, Riverside, and all nearby areas. Our full-service dental solutions include dental exams, cleaning and prevention, cosmetic dentistry, and dental restorations.