Sedation Dentistry (Sleep Dentistry)
What is Sedation Dentistry?
Sedation dentistry is a great option for patients who experience high anxiety when visiting the dentist. We use the latest sedation techniques, including oral-conscious sedation, IV sedation, and nitrous oxide.
At SmileTexas®, we offer sedation dentistry in Sugar Land, TX to meet the unique needs of our anxious, fearful, or busy dental patients, because your comfort and peace of mind are our first concern.
How often is dental sedation used?
The most important person in our office is the patient. We use nitrous oxide and oral sedation in our office every day and use IV sedation two days a week, every week. Using these safe sedation techniques, we have successfully treated thousands of fearful, anxious patients.
Many of our patients have complicated cases that require the skill and expertise of each doctor in our practice. Our dedicated team will assist you with all of your dental needs in conjunction with your cosmetic and implant treatment.
I couldn’t have asked for a better experience! Dr. Davis and his staff were the most caring people. It was worth every penny & I would recommend these guys 10000x over. Forever grateful for what they did for me!
Sedation Dentistry Options in Houston & Sugar land, TX
At SmileTexas®, we offer three different options for your sedation: oral conscious sedation, inhaled minimal sedation, and IV sedation. Before we proceed, we’ll need to discuss your medical history and any exceptions that may preclude certain forms of sedation. Together we can then decide what sedation option is best for you.
In addition to helping you overcome your fear and anxiety, another advantage of sedation dentistry is that it allows us to perform several treatments in a single visit. In most cases, you’ll remember little if anything about the time spent; it will feel like you were in the office for only a few minutes. To add to your comfort, we also provide blankets, pillows, and an iPod with various available music choices.
Am I a Candidate for Sedation Dentistry In Sugar Land, TX?
Sedation can help a patient deal with strong feelings of fear and anxiety that accompany a visit to the dentist. If you have these characteristics, sedation dentistry at SmileTexas® could change how you view your appointment. Sedation could be an excellent option if you have:
- Difficulty overcoming anxiety about the dentist
- A low pain threshold
- Very sensitive teeth
- A very strong gag reflex
- A large amount of work that needs to be done
These sedation options are not pain medication. Once sedated, we properly numb, or anesthetize, the area we are working on, making your procedure pain free.
Oral vs. Nitrous oxide vs. IV sedation
What is Oral Conscious Sedation?
With oral sedation, a pill, usually Halcion or something similar, is given about 30 minutes to an hour before the start of your procedure. This will make you drowsy, but you’re still awake and you can still respond to certain directions from Dr. Kline or Dr. Davis. If you prefer moderate sedation, we can simply increase the dosage.
How Long Does Oral Sedation Last?
For most patients, the effects of oral sedation last from two to four hours after their appointment. You need a ride to and from your appointment, plus shouldn’t drive for an additional 12 hours.
Oral Sedation Risks
Oral sedation also has an amnestic effect. While technically a side effect, most patients love this benefit because they have no recollection of their dental visit. Oral medications can also cause dry mouth, headaches, dizziness, and occasional nausea, but these all pass quickly.
What is Inhaled Minimal Sedation?
Nitrous oxide, long associated with the dentist’s office, is used with inhaled minimal sedation. A mask is placed over your nose and you breath in the “laughing gas.” The gas helps you relax, but you’re still fully awake. The effects of the gas wear off very quickly. We precisely control the amount you receive. Inhaled sedation is the only form of sedation where you will be able to drive yourself home after your procedure. Inhaled sedation is the best sedation option for children.
How Long Does Inhaled Sedation Last?
Nitrous oxide can reach the brain in just seconds, so its effects are almost instantaneous. The same is true when administration is discontinued. It clears from the body in just a couple of minutes, and the patient is fully conscious without any lingering effects.
Inhaled Minimal Sedation Risks
The major risks with nitrous oxide sedation involve changes in the patient’s pressure/volume of air-filled cavities in the body. These pressure changes make it important that the patient has not recently had ocular eye surgery. Nitrous oxide can also create elevated pressure in the middle ear. Also, when nitrous oxide dissolves out of the blood into air-filled spaces such as the intestines, this can cause severe short-term gut pain. These issues are invariable caused by improper administration of the gas. Otherwise, nitrous oxide is very safe and very effective.
What is IV sedation?
This type of sedation is delivered intravenously and works instantly. An advantage to IV sedation is that we can adjust the levels continually.
How Long Does IV Sedation Last?
For some patients, IV sedation wears off almost immediately after the administration is stopped. For others, they can feel its effects for a few hours after their appointment is over. Patients shouldn’t drive or operate machinery for 24 hours afterwards.
IV Sedation Risks
The biggest risk with IV sedation is over-sedation. Reaching too deep a level of sedation can be dangerous for medically compromised patients. Over-sedation can also lead to respiratory depression. Continual monitoring of the patient’s vital signs mitigates these risks.
How Much Time Does it Take for Sedation Dentistry to Wear Off?
This depends on the type of sedation you receive. Patients who select inhalation sedation (nitrous oxide) recover from their sedative within a few minutes. At the end of the procedure, we alter the ratio of oxygen to nitrous oxide to reduce sedative effects. Nitrous oxide sedation is the only option that allows patients to drive themselves home after their treatment. Oral conscious sedation and IV sedation can take a few hours to wear off to the point at which the patient is fully alert. In each of these situations, patients should refrain from driving for the remainder of the day.
How to Prepare for a Sedation Dentistry appointment?
Depending on the type of sedation you choose to add to your treatment, the office may advise you not to eat in the few hours before your appointment. The day before receiving any kind of sedation dentistry, it is beneficial to drink plenty of water. Adequate hydration can help the body process the sedative more efficiently after treatment. If you are receiving oral conscious sedation or IV sedation, you must arrange to have someone accompany you to your appointment and drive you home afterward. Generally, it is appropriate to continue taking all prescribed medications as directed before undergoing dental sedation. If you have questions, contact our office prior to the day of your visit.
Recovery and Aftercare for Sedation Dentistry
The medications involved in oral conscious sedation and IV sedation can alter memory, coordination, and perception. In some cases, patients will remain in the office for 30 to 45 minutes after their procedure so our staff can keep an eye on them while they regain an adequate level of alertness. When it is safe to leave, patients are released to a loved one who can safely drive them home. After the visit, it can take up to several hours to fully recover from the sedative that was administered at the office. Patients should not drive or operate machinery of any kind. Important discussions, decisions, and signing of any documents should be postponed for another time.
When home, it is advisable to take it easy, understanding the coordination and mobility may be slightly inhibited. Patients may be instructed to avoid eating and drinking until they are fully alert, not groggy. When eating (soft foods) and drinking resumes, it should be small amounts. Too much volume in the stomach could cause nausea or vomiting. It is necessary to avoid smoking and alcohol consumption for at least 24 hours after receiving dental sedation.
Who is not an ideal candidate for Sedation Dentistry?
Our objective in administering dental sedation is to improve patients’ experience by alleviating anxiety and stress. It is necessary for us to do this in the safest way possible. Dental sedation is not appropriate for patients who are pregnant or breastfeeding. Patients with certain allergies or medical conditions may also be unsuitable candidates for some types of sedation. We conduct a thorough medical history during our consultation to ensure that each patient can receive the care they deserve in the safest and most comfortable manner.
Will I Be Asleep During IV Sedation?
You might, but that is not the objective. IV sedation is delivered directly to the bloodstream, so tends to be immediately effective. This service is not the same as general anesthesia. While patients are monitored for the duration of their procedure, IV sedation is just that, sedation. It works by causing significant relaxation in the central nervous system. As a result, some patients do enter a light sleep state. However, they can be easily awakened and can communicate with the staff if needed.
Schedule a Consultation
Don’t be left behind. SmileTexas® can help you. If you have been putting off getting a healthy, beautiful smile because of fear or anxiety relating to dental procedures, call SmileTexas® today at (281) 265-7645 to learn more about your options for sedation dentistry in Sugar Land, TX. You can also click here to submit an email contact form to our staff, and we’ll get back to you at the earliest.