Patients who have undergone a procedure using IV sedation dentistry will tell you it is a simple, relaxing way to experience dentistry.
Imagine undergoing a complex dental treatment like a root canal, extraction, or oral surgery. When your treatment is complete, you have no recollection of the time it took, the pain, the noise, or the discomfort you were expecting. We are pleased to offer our patients the option of comfortable, safe, and effective sedation dentistry. Patients who benefit from sedation dentistry have:
- A fear or anxiety of being at the dentist
- A hard time sitting still for long periods of time
- A hard time getting (and staying) numb from anesthetics and
- Sensitive GAG reflexes
Here are some answers to questions you may have. We also would be more than happy to answer your questions in person
What is Sedation Dentistry?
Sedation dentistry allows your doctor to provide a variety of dental treatments safely and comfortably for patients who experience anxiety when visiting the dentist. There are several benefits to sedation dentistry, including:
- No fear or anxiety during treatment
- No memory of undergoing the procedure
- No sense of time while under sedation
- No sense of smell or sound
I am nervous about being unconscious. What levels of sedation are available to me?
There is no need to be nervous about having sedation dentistry at our practice. We are licensed by the Royal College of Dental Surgeons of Ontario, and you will find that we are respectful and professional at all times.
Sedation dentistry is closely regulated by law, and there are two sedative states at which we can administer your treatment: mild sedation, or IV sedation.
- Mild Sedation — Anxiolysis is the lightest form of sedation dentistry and is often used for patients with mild anxiety, longer procedures, or more complex situations. Mild sedation is usually administered orally or simply with odourless gas, or a combination of both.You remain awake or very sleepy throughout the entire procedure and are able to breathe on your own, but you will feel a great sense of relaxation. Patients typically recover from anxiolysis sedation within a few hours after the procedure is complete.
- Moderate Sedation— Used for patients with moderate dental anxiety and for patients who need longer or more complex procedures, conscious sedation often refers to the use of light IV sedation. With conscious sedation, you will remain awake throughout your procedure, but will be in a deep state of relaxation. It is recommended that patients receiving conscious sedation have a parent, spouse, or friend accompany them to appointments because it can take several hours for the sedative to wear off and driving may be unsafe.
How are sedatives administered?
- Inhalation — Nitrous oxide, or laughing gas, is the most frequently used method for easing mild to moderate anxiety. Recovery is quick so you can resume your normal activities immediately.
- Oral — An extremely common technique for dental sedation is oral sedation. It is easy and does not require the use of needles. You will be given a prescription pill which, taken about an hour before your appointment, will have you fully relaxed by the time you arrive at our office.
- Intravenous (IV) — IV Sedation, which involves an injection of sedative drugs into the arm can result in sedation within a short amount of time
How will I Feel?
IV sedation induces a sleepy state of deep relaxation and a feeling of not being perturbed by what’s going on. You may not remember much about your treatment at all.
Is it Safe?
Yes it is completely safe. At Kemptville Smiles Dentistry you will be looked after by a highly qualified and experienced, dedicated Team.
Speak to one of our team members by phone, email your particular concerns to us, or come and visit us. You are treated as an individual and we take care to listen and understand your particular concerns.
Is Nitrous Oxide or Laughing Gas Safe?
Nitrous oxide is very safe, because it’s easy to take and mild. Nitrous oxide is not addictive. While inhaling nitrous oxide, you remain fully conscious and aware of your surroundings. After coming off of the gas, the effects of it are gone. If you have respiratory problems or other breathing problems, such as asthma, you should talk with your dentist to see if you are a candidate for nitrous oxide.
Can I alleviate my fear of the dentist? Yes!
Some people are so frightened of the dentist that they avoid dental treatment altogether but at Kemptville Smiles, we are sympathetic and in recognising that some patients experience real anxiety, they have developed new techniques and approaches to help.
Modern dentistry is very patient focused and as such, a range of sedation and relaxation techniques have been developed to help anxious patients overcome their fears.
How will IV sedation in the surgery affect me?
Whilst IV sedation will make you drowsy and unaware of the treatment you are undergoing, you will remain lucid enough to communicate and cooperate with the dental team. The effects of the sedative will take time to wear off and you won’t be able to drink alcohol, drive or work machinery during this time so it is important that someone can help you home after treatment and keep a careful eye on you for some time afterwards. We will tell you how long it will be before the drugs are completely clear from your body.
What else can help?
You can be helped to feel relaxed by ‘relative analgesia’ sometimes known as inhalation sedation. This means breathing in a mixture of nitrous oxide and oxygen (‘laughing gas’) which quickly leads to a pleasant, relaxed feeling. Although you may feel a little drowsy, you remain conscious throughout but any treatment given causes you no discomfort. You breathe in the mixture through a nosepiece which is very comfortable.
You can’t overdose on the gas as the mixture quickly leaves your body if you breathe in one or two breaths of ordinary air. There are no after-effects and you are able to drive a car about 15 minutes later. Usually patients would need to be referred to a specialist clinic for inhalation sedation.
Will I ever feel differently about visiting the dentist?
It is highly likely! As you get to know and trust your dentist, hygienist and other members of the dental team at your practice, your fears will dampen. In time you will come to see your regular visit to the dentist as just another part of your normal life.
Please contact our practice to schedule a consultation, learn more about sedation dentistry, and find out which sedation dentistry method may be right for you.