I have a bad gag reflex: Can sedation dentistry help?

05-11-2015_gag_reflex

Many people think that sedation dentistry is only used to help fearful patients access the care they need, but this option can benefit other patients as well. For example, patients with a strong gag reflex may find it difficult to tolerate dental treatments, but sedation can help these patients overcome that potential obstacle to obtaining care.

Sedation dentistry helps patients to relax deeply while receiving dental treatments, which can diminish a patient’s gag reflex. The medications used to sedate patients are generally anti-anxiety drugs, such as benzodiazepines.

Dental patients with a strong gag reflex who would like sedation have a number of choices for delivery methods of those medications. Your dentist may give you a prescription for an oral medication that would be taken before you arrive at the appointment. Nitrous oxide can also be used for its sedative effect, or patients can also select full intravenous sedation. In the case of the latter, a qualified specialist, such as a board certified anesthesiologist, should be involved in the patient’s care.

Dental patients with a strong gag reflex who would like sedation have a number of choices for delivery methods of those medications.

Depending on the type of sedation, your dentist will give you instructions for before and after the appointment. If you choose oral sedation, you will need to have someone bring you to and from the appointment. Patients who opt for full IV sedation will also need a responsible adult to escort them home, as the sedative’s effects will not be reversed until much later in the day.

Similarly, patients who want IV sedation will need to fast after midnight prior to the appointment. Follow your dentist’s specific instructions in this case.

Although patients may feel like they are asleep and have no recollection of any procedures afterward, the sedatives actually allow patients to remain conscious and able to respond to the dentist’s command throughout the appointment.

If a bad gag reflex has prevented you from getting necessary dental care, contact our office to talk to one of our professional staff members about your sedation options. This method can help get you back on track with routine check-ups and cleanings. Call 817-485-2111 to schedule your visit.

Will I Need Recovery Time if I Use Sedation During my Dental Procedure?

09-10-2014_recovery-sedation

If you suffer from dental fears or phobias, you are not alone. In fact, fears and anxiety related to dental procedures is very common among many patients. Fortunately, sedation dentistry offered by our gentle and caring dentists can promote a worry- and stress-free experience so that you can receive the dental care you require to keep your teeth and gums healthy.

Types of Sedation Dentistry

The most common method of sedation involves administering nitrous oxide gas through a small nasal mask. This type of sedation is fast acting and quick to wear off after treatment. Used by dentists for more than a century, nitrous oxide is known to produce feelings of serenity and euphoria without long-lasting and lingering effects. In fact, after receiving nitrous oxide, patients can drive themselves home after its effects wear off.

Another method of sedation that is popular among fearful patients is the use of orally administered sedatives. These prescription medicines belong to a family of anti-anxiety drugs that are specifically designed to promote relaxation by blocking anxiety-causing chemicals released by the brain. The exact medicine you take will depend on your unique needs and the nature of your procedure. Your dentist will discuss your medical history with you to help determine the proper dosage and medication for you.

The third most common method used in sedation dentistry is intravenous sedation. IV sedation is normally reserved for long, complex procedures or for patients with severe anxiety. This form of sedation is also useful for procedures that require a patient to remain still during treatment. Administered by a board-certified anesthesiologist, IV sedation is highly controlled. The effects of the medication work quickly because they are delivered intravenously and the dosage can be adjusted if needed. Patients’ vitals are continuously monitored during IV sedation as a safety precaution.

When it comes to using oral and IV sedation, patients will need to have a family member or friend take them to and from their appointment because these methods produce lingering effects.

To discuss sedation dentistry with our dental team, call our practice today.

Sedation Dentistry: Will I remember anything?

07-09-2014_sedation-remembering

For patients with serious dental anxiety that prevents them from getting the dental care they need, sedation dentistry can present a good solution to help them overcome that fear.

One of the many benefits of sedation dentistry is that the medications used to relax the patient also have an amnestic effect. That is, the patient typically has no memory of the appointment after the sedative’s effects wear off. This protects the patient from negative memories of the visit that can reinforce the dental fear.

Sedation dentistry has a number of benefits beyond its amnestic effects. First and foremost, getting a sedative is the only way for some patients to relax enough to even see the dentist to begin with. Whether it’s a routine exam and cleaning or a more involved intervention to treat decay or improve a smile’s aesthetics, dental treatments are tremendously valuable for promoting both your oral health and your self-esteem.

Sedation dentistry has a number of benefits beyond its amnestic effects.

The anti-anxiety medications help patients achieve a state of deep relaxation without losing consciousness. Although this specialty is sometimes referred to as “sleep dentistry,” patients never actually fall asleep. They’re just so relaxed that it feels as though they are sleeping.

Because patients remain conscious under sedation, their airways are not compromised and they can respond to the dentist’s requests. This differs significantly from general anesthesia, which renders the patient unconscious and requires artificial airway maintenance. The effects of sedatives also wear off more quickly, but patients who are under sedation still must make arrangements for a responsible adult to take them home from the appointment. The sedatives will not wear off before it’s time to leave the office.

Patients have a number of choices for delivery of the sedative medications as well. The drugs may be taken in pill form or intravenously. Nitrous oxide gas also can be inhaled to achieve a similar effect.

Patients who want to choose sedation dentistry should discuss all of the advantages and risks in advance with their dentist to make a well-informed choice. If you think that you may benefit from sedation dentistry, contact our skilled dental team at 817-485-2111 to learn more about your options.

The Latest Options for an Anxiety Free Dental Experience

12-05-2013_anxiety-free-dental

Dental fears and phobias are not uncommon. In fact, many patients suffer from anxiety related to visiting the dentist. Because your dentist prioritizes patient comfort and relaxation, various types of sedation dentistry are available.

Sedation dentistry allows even the most anxious patients to feel at ease during dental procedures. From cleanings to more comprehensive services such as extracting wisdom teeth or performing root canal therapy, varying levels of sedation promote a worry-free and comforting experience.

The mildest form of sedation dentistry available is the use of nitrous oxide gas. This method has been proven safe and effective and has been used for over a century in dentistry. A mixture of nitrous and oxygen, this method of sedation is delivered to the patient by a mask that fits over the nose. As the patient breaths in the gas, its relaxing and euphoric effects begin to work almost instantly. An additional benefit to nitrous oxide sedation is that its sedative effects wear off quickly, allowing the patient to drive home after a visit to the dentist.

For patients with more significant dental phobias and fears, stronger sedation may be necessary to ensure optimal comfort. Your dentist may prescribe an oral sedative to be taken an hour before your appointment. These medications are stronger than nitrous oxide but milder than full sedation dosages. Anti-anxiety medications work with receptors in the brain to reduce feelings of worry and panic. While the patient will not be totally sedated, they will likely feel relaxed and comfortable. If these types of medications are prescribed, patients will be unable to drive and should arrange for transportation to and from their appointment.

Most commonly used for lengthy procedures, full sedation is administered by a board-certified anesthesiologist. Full sedation involves the oral or IV administration of sedative drugs. Total sedation places patients in a restful state of sleep where they will likely have minimal or no recollection of their procedure.

If you have dental phobias and fears of an upcoming dental procedure, contact Anderson Dentistry at 817-485-2111 to discuss how sedation dentistry can benefit you.

Sedation Dentistry: Relax and take the edge off

08-02-2012_relax-sedation

Some patients feel an utter terror at the thought of getting into the dentist’s chair, while many others have a milder form of dental anxiety. If your worries have kept you from getting your regular check-ups and cleanings, you should consider sedation dentistry as a way to help you maintain your oral health.

With sedation dentistry, patients are eased into a state of deep relaxation before any dental procedures are performed.

In contrast to general anesthesia, patients remain conscious while under sedation. This helps dentists to direct the patients to make certain movements as needed. Furthermore, the patient’s airway is not compromised during sedation.

As an added benefit, sedation leaves patients with virtually no memory of the procedure afterward. Sedation also helps patients tolerate longer sessions, which can benefit patients who are undergoing lengthy, complex dental treatments.

The dentist may use a variety of methods to deliver the sedative medications to patients. The anti-anxiety drugs can be taken in pill form or provided to the patient intravenously. Patients may also choose nitrous oxide, which is a gas, for its sedative effects.

The different methods will appeal to different patients. For example, those looking for an instantaneous effect will likely benefit from IV sedation or nitrous oxide, while needle-phobes should consider oral medications.

Patients’ vital signs are carefully monitored while they are under sedation. Those who choose IV sedation receive attention from board-certified anesthesiologists.

When choosing sedation dentistry, patients should know how they need to prepare for the visit in advance. For example, patients who are receiving the medications intravenously may need to fast for several hours prior to the visit. Those who opt for sedation in pill form will need to take the pill before coming to the office to give it time to take effect.

All sedation dentistry patients should bring a responsible adult with them to escort them home after the visit. Those who take sedatives in pill form will need a ride to the appointment, too, as those medications can affect a person’s driving ability.

To learn more about the benefits of sedation dentistry, contact Anderson Dentistry in Colleyville at 817-485-2111 today.