What is Sedation Dentistry?
It is normal for patients to be anxious about their treatment. Sedation dentistry offers these dental patients a safe and effective alternative. There are three forms of conscious sedation including; nitrous oxide, analgesia, taking an oral medication and receiving intravenous medication. One of the benefits of sedation dentistry is that it eliminates movement during a periodontal or dental implant procedure. Sedation dentistry relaxes the patient and allows those who might avoid a dental visit a safe and anxiety-free alternative. If you are hesitant about scheduling your next visit, consider sedation dentistry. Ask us for more information, and we will be sure to put your mind at ease.
Before Intravenous Anesthesia Sedation
- Do not eat or drink anything including water for eight hours prior to the scheduled appointment.
- No smoking at least 12 hours before surgery.
- A responsible adult must accompany the patient to the office, remain in the office during the procedure, and drive the patient home after recovery.
- Wear loose fitting clothing with either short sleeves or sleeves which can be rolled up past the elbow.
- Contact lenses, jewelry, and dentures must be removed at the time of surgery.
- Do not wear lipstick, excessive makeup, or nail polish on the day of surgery.
- If you have an illness such as a cold, sore throat, stomach or bowel upset, please notify the office.
- The patient should not drive a vehicle or operate any machinery for 24 hours following the procedure.
- If you take any oral medications, please check with Clarke V. Filippi, DDS prior to your surgical date for instructions.
Intravenous (into a vein) methods require more experience to be administered and monitored properly. Intravenous medications should be used only by dentists with extensive training in these techniques. Dr. Filippi has an additional license called a conscious sedation permit. This allows him to provide IV Sedation. These professionals are trained to deliver the medications and monitor patients during the procedure and handle any complications that may occur. You will need assistance to get home after sedation.
Patients who are more anxious may need an oral medication that is stronger than nitrous oxide. With oral sedation, the patient may be sleepy but can be aroused and will respond to simple commands. Minor side effects such as nausea or vomiting can occur with some medications. Before a visit in which a patient is to receive oral sedation, he/she will receive instructions about eating and drinking, what to expect and what to watch for after treatment. You will need assistance to get home after sedation.
Nitrous Oxide Sedation
Nitrous oxide, also known as laughing gas, is most often used for younger patients who are mildly or moderately anxious or nervous. It eases their fears so that they can relax and receive treatment comfortably and safely. Nitrous oxide is administered by placing a small mask over the patient's nose. As the gas begins to work, the patient becomes calm, but is still awake and can communicate. When the gas is turned off, the effects of sedation wear off almost immediately.
Sedation (oral or IV) will not numb the treatment area. Dr. Filippi will use local anesthetic in addition to the sedation (oral or IV) to make your appointment as comfortable as possible.
Can I drive home?
No. Patients who receive oral or IV sedation may not drive to or from the appointment. The effects last many hours and driving is not safe. We will call your ride at the end of your appointment to bring you home. You should not plan to do anything but rest for the remainder of the day.
How safe is sedation dentistry?
We use sophisticated monitoring equipment to track blood pressure, pulse, and oxygen percentage levels during all procedures and you are always attended by a trained doctor or staff member.
Is sedation dentistry expensive?
There is a sedation fee to cover the expense of the drugs and the monitoring, Your dental benefits may cover a portion of the expenses.
What is the medication?
Dr. Filippi typically uses Halcion for Oral sedation and Versed for IV sedation.
Will I be asleep?
Some people do doze during their appointment, but our primary goal is relaxation and comfort with safety.
Will you use local anesthetic (Novocain)?
Always. Sedation is not general anesthesia.
Would I be unusual in wanting sedation?
Not at all. Sedation in our office is very common for surgery, for long appointments and for complicated procedures as well as for basic dental anxiety.
Do I need to avoid certain medications?
It is important to discuss all medication with Clarke V. Filippi, DDS during your pre-surgical consultation. In most cases medication should be continued unless specifically instructed to withhold them. Typically Plavix, Aspirin, Coumadin and other types of blood thinners will be stopped pre-op. When necessary Clarke V. Filippi, DDS will consult with your physician to safely manage your medications.