Sedation Dentistry - Your comfort is our priority
Dr. Wan-Chow-Wah and her dental team are highly sensitive to the fact that some people may experience a certain level of anxiety associated with undergoing dental procedures. They are also strong believers that such dental fear and anxiety should not stand in the way of you getting the quality of dental care that you deserve. As such, our office conveniently offers multiple modalities of Conscious Sedation. Since our ultimate goal is to make your visit with us a positive and pleasant experience, we will gladly discuss and customize the method of sedation most appropriate for you.
Oral Conscious Sedation
To relieve the very real and often debilitating anxiety associated with dental phobia, our office offers oral conscious sedation, known as sedation dentistry. Patients who feel stressed about dental work, as well as those who need multiple procedures performed in one visit, will benefit from conscious sedation.
The procedure involves taking an oral sedative prior to your visit, approximately 30 minutes before the dental appoinment. Dr. Wan-Chow-Wah may also use nitrous oxide (laughing gas) to supplement the sedative effects of the oral medication. Your vital signs and comfort level are keenly monitored throughout your appointment.
Nitrous Oxide Inhalation Sedation
Commonly referred to as laughing gas, nitrous oxide is used in surgery and dentistry for its pain blocking and reducing effects. It is known as "laughing gas" due to the euphoric effects of inhaling it. The administration of nitrous oxide is used to enhance patient comfort and relieve anxiety for patients of all ages. The gas (a nitrous oxide and oxygen mixture) is inhaled through a nose piece. The amount of gas that you receive is monitored and controlled by the dentist to ensure your safety. You will begin to relax and will not recognize pain, so the dentist can perform your dental work while you stay completely comfortable. The effects of nitrous oxide decrease once the nose piece is removed, such that if the gas is the only anesthesia that you receive, you will very likely be capable of driving yourself home following the visit and can continue your daily activities as normal.
Intravenous Conscious Moderate Sedation
While IV sedation can be used for general anesthesia (to induce a state of unconsciousness), it can also be used for conscious sedation. This type of sedation induces an altered state of consciousness, also known as a “twilight” state, which is a groggy state of mind and a relaxed body. This form of sedation minimizes pain and discomfort through the use of pain relievers and sedatives. Patients who receive conscious sedation usually are able to speak and respond to verbal cues throughout the procedure, communicating any discomfort they experience to the dentist. While you are under the effects of the drug, the dentist can perform your dental work, and you will remain comfortable. A brief period of amnesia may erase any memory of the procedure. After your procedure(s), you will need to be escorted home by a responsible adult. The following day, the sedative will have clreared the body so that you can resume your normal daily activities.
Also called sleep dentistry, general anesthesia can relieve pain and anxiety by making a patient unconscious during dental procedures. For patients with intense dental fear or those who need major dental procedures, sleep dentistry presents an option that is both comfortable and practical.
If Dr. Wan-Chow-Wah believes that you would benefit from sleep dentistry, she will gladly refer you to the appropriate dental specialist for such procedure. Sleep dentistry has helped many patients overcome the barriers created by profound anxieties about dental procedures that stand in the way of optimal oral health.