Sedation Learning Center

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Many people are anxious at the thought of going to the dentist, due to painful past experiences or just a general fear of dental procedures. If you struggle with the idea of visiting the dentist, you are not alone. Sedation dentistry may be the option for you. Sedation dentistry can help you feel relaxed and at ease throughout your entire appointment. You will feel as though your procedure only lasted a few moments. Leave worry behind and take the steps to great oral health by taking advantage of sedation dentistry. We hope the information in our Sedation Learning Center will help you make an informed decision about your dental needs. Take a look through the points below for more details!

What Is Sedation Dentistry?
Sedation dentistry utilizes prescription medication to help patients relax during their dental procedures. Sometimes it is referred to as “sleep dentistry,” although that is not entirely true. Many patients tend to be so relaxed they may take a nap through their dental appointment, but they are not completely unconscious.

What Type of Sedation Is There Available?
Nitrous Oxide Sedation – Also known as “laughing gas,” nitrous oxide, combined with oxygen, is given through a mask that is placed over your nose. The gas helps you relax and feel comfortable throughout your procedure. Your dentist can control the amount of sedation you receive and the gas tends to wear off quickly after you remove the mask. Nitrous sedation is the only form of sedation that may allow you to drive yourself home after the procedure.

Oral Sedation – Oral sedation can range from minimal to moderate sedation, depending on the dosage. For minimal sedation, you will take a pill. Although you will remain awake, the pill will make you drowsy. A larger dose may be given to produce moderate sedation. This is the most common type of anesthesia associated with sedation dentistry. Some people become groggy enough from moderate oral sedation to actually fall asleep during the procedure. Patients can usually be awakened with a gentle shake.

IV Sedation – You will receive the sedative through a vein in your hand or arm, so it goes to work more quickly. IV sedation allows the dentist to continually adjust the level of sedation. This method is especially beneficial when sitting through more than one treatment or if you have a strong gag reflex.

How Long Will It Take The Sedation To Wear Off?
The amount of time it takes for sedation to wear off depends on which form of sedation you received, how long your treatment is, and how quickly your body is able to recover. With nitrous oxide, you will recover immediately following your procedure. With IV sedation, the effects can take a few hours to wear off. You will need someone to accompany you to your appointment that can drive you home. Following your treatment, you should not operate machinery, drive, or drink alcohol.

A Note From Our Dentist, Dr. David Kagan
My Childhood Experience with Dental Fear
I was four years old and in bed with the mumps. Just when I thought I couldn’t be feeling any worse, yes you guessed it – I started getting a severe throbbing toothache. Since I couldn’t get out of bed, my mom called the dentist, and he did something that has been long lost in the medical field – he made a house call. He came to my bedside and placed a temporary sedative filling which eased my pain. Later, after I recovered from the mumps, my mom took me to the dentist and he determined that my tooth would have to be extracted.

It was a beautiful, clear, sunny summer day. I can remember it like it was yesterday. We were on our way for a day at the beach, but first we had to stop off at the dentist to get rid of the troublesome tooth. I remember they put a mask over my face and the next thing I knew I felt like I was trapped at the bottom of a deep, dark well, swimming around in freezing cold water. The well was so deep that when I looked upward I could not even see daylight. I made my way over to the side and tried and tried to get hold of the wall to pull myself up, and my hands were just slipping and sliding down the sides of the green, slimy, moss-covered walls.

Now starting to panic, I started flailing about and just when things couldn’t get any worse, they did, as up out of the water came a terrifying sea dragon rapidly approaching me. Just before he got to me, I woke up with my mouth all bloody and full of gauze and the dentist said you’re all done and handed me my sorry-looking tooth.

Shortly after this dental fear experience, from when I was five years old, I have only wanted to be a dentist. Unlike most kids who wanted to be a baseball or football player, actor, fireman, policeman, cowboy or astronaut, I have never wanted to be or do anything else. This desire has given me a unique perspective toward everything else. Every waking hour from age five to age 26 was spent working toward that goal.

Since my graduation from dental school in 1983, I have spent my time learning from the finest, most knowledgeable, experienced, talented and wisest minds in dentistry, from all corners of the world, in hopes of becoming the best dentist I am capable of, for the benefit of my patients.


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