If you fear going to the dentist, experience unpleasant gagging sensations, have trouble getting numb, or need multiple procedures done in one sitting, oral sedation dentistry can make your experience relaxing and rewarding. Dr. Polley will review your medical history to determine if you are a candidate for sedation dentistry, then he will answer your questions and tell you what to expect. Sedation dentistry allows fearful, nervous, or anxious patients to receive the dental care they need and deserve.
Can Oral Sedation Dentistry Help You?
Unfortunately, dental anxiety creates a self-perpetuating cycle. By avoiding routine checkups and cleaning, people need to have more invasive procedures which increases their dental anxiety. Oral sedation is a safe, proven technique for helping people relax during dental appointments. It can help people who experience:
- Anxiety about going to the dentist
- Stress because of the sights and sounds at the dentist’s office
- Gagging sensations during dental exam or treatment
- Difficulty getting numb
- Excessive discomfort after a dentist appointment
Stress contributes significantly to discomfort both during and after a dental visit, so oral sedation dentistry can help people who have more than usual discomfort due to dental procedures.
Oral sedation dentistry is very safe and can be used by nearly everyone. The most common reason why people might not qualify is an allergy to the medications we use. You may also not be a candidate if you have certain heart conditions or sleep disorders, or are taking certain medications or supplements. Make sure you let us know about all medications you are taking.
How Oral Sedation Dentistry Works
Dr. Polley will choose the proper oral sedation medication based on your anxiety level and the length of your procedure. Before your appointment, you will take a pill, then during your visit, we will monitor your vital signs and comfort level. With oral sedation, you will be conscious and able to respond to the doctor’s instructions throughout your visit. Patients typically experience deep relaxation and often drift in and out of sleep. After the procedure, you will have little memory of your visit. You must have a friend or family member drive you to and from your dental appointment.
General anesthesia is an option for cases where sedation dentistry may not be enough. Unlike conscious sedation, general anesthesia puts a person in an unconscious state. It may be recommended for patients who:
- Have extreme dental anxiety
- Do not respond to sedation
- Have invasive procedure
- Cannot stay still for procedure
- Have developmental disabilities
There are important considerations about the risks and benefits of general anesthesia that we will have to discuss. Few patients really need general anesthesia, but if you need it, we are among the few dental practices licensed to provide it.
Our Las Vegas dental office also offers deep sedation as an alternative to general anesthesia. Deep sedation uses drugs just like general anesthesia to help patients reach a state of unconsciousness, however, with deep sedation, patients can easily be awakened with repeated stimulation. With general anesthesia, patients will be unable to respond until the effects of the medication wear off. We usually recommend deep sedation to our patients over general anesthesia because it presents fewer risks while still offering similar effects.