Anxiety-Free (Sedation) Dentistry

Sedation Dentistry

Welcome to the world of Comfort.   Sedation dentistry is a revolutionary way to accomplish your dental treatments with little or no discomfort.  You dream...we work.  Oral sedation is a wonderful option for patients who need more than just nitrous oxide, but don’t need or want IV Sedation or general anesthesia. It allows many people to be comfortably sedated through an entire dental visit using just a small pill.  We hope to answer all of your questions and be your #1 source of anxiety free dentistry information.

What is Oral Sedation?  

Conscious sedation is modern dentistry that lets even the most high fear patient have a relaxing and comfortable dental visit. Since the patient is comfortable, Dr. Forsmark is able to accomplish the work of several appointments in just one. There are a number of conscious sedation techniques, but they all have certain things in common. While the goal of general anesthesia is for the patient to sleep, in dentistry it is much more common to use conscious sedation.  That is, the patient is sedated and comfortable, yet still awake. When Dr. Forsmark uses conscious sedation, you don’t really fall asleep, even though sometimes it feels like you did. That’s because sedation feels so relaxing and peaceful that the patient doesn’t even notice the passing of time. Many of the medications used in conscious sedation have an amnesiac effect as well, leaving patients with little or no memory of their dental appointment, and further adding to the feeling that the patient was asleep.

Oral sedation is wonderful and incredibly effective for most healthy adults. For many, it is the answer they have been looking for all their life. Discuss sedation with Dr. Forsmark if any of the following sound likes you

  •  You are uncomfortable in the dentist's office
  •  You are too scared to even call the dentist and make an appointment
  •  You can’t stand the smell and sounds of the dentist's office
  •  You are delaying treatment you know you need
  •  You are in pain when you eat, but too anxious about the dentist to take care of it
  •  You are unable to find a dentist that you feel you can trust
  •  You have trouble getting numb - the anesthetic doesn’t seem to work on you
  •  You are afraid to smile
  •  You are concerned about how many dental appointments you know you’ll need
  •  You are looking for a way to have the work of several appointments done in just one or two
  •  You remember bad experiences with a dentist in your past
  •  You have sensitive teeth
  •  You have a strong gag reflex, especially when the dentist is working in your mouth
  •  You have trouble with jaw soreness when you have to keep your mouth open
  •  You have back or neck pain when you sit in a dental chair
  •  You have sensitive teeth
  •  You are afraid of needles

Why Oral Sedation Dentistry?

  1. Oral Sedation is a safe and effective way of relieving the fear and anxiety associated with going to the dentist.
  2. Dentists have used oral medications for many years to relieve fear and apprehension associated with dental appointments. 
  3. It works well for most patients allowing them to relax and have little or no memory of their dental appointments (partial or total  amnesia).  
  4. It’s easy; you take a pill one hour prior to your dental appointment.
  5. Some patients are so relaxed that they sleep right through their dental appointment. When someone is relaxed they will feel less tired after long dental appointments.
  6. Patients are so relaxed and comfortable, that a large amount of complex treatment can be accomplished in a single appointment.
  7. People who have trouble getting numb are often helped by Oral Sedation Dentistry. If you are scared of needles, sedation dentistry can help you.
  8. People who have difficulty controlling movements, such as Parkinson's disease or Cerebral Palsy, are often helped by oral sedation.
  9. The dentist can complete more dental treatment of higher quality, in a shorter period of time, on a patient who is relaxed.


Nitrous Oxide Sedation Dentistry

Nitrous Oxide, also known as laughing gas, is a pain relieving and sedating gas that is combined with oxygen to make patients more comfortable during dental care. A light tingling feeling is often experienced by patients as well as an altered sense of time. Some patients love the feeling and feel very comfortable, others require something more tranquilizing. In general, patients who have had traumatic dental or life experiences that leave a life long memory, will be more comfortable with something that will relax them more than nitrous oxide alone.  We often use nitrous oxide in combination with oral sedation. 


Will I feel any pain?   Most patients feel no discomfort whatsoever during their treatment and feel surprisingly good afterwards.

Will I be totally relaxed?   You'll receive just enough sedation that you'll be completely unaware of the treatment, as you would if you were asleep.

Will I remember anything?   At the end of the treatment, you'll have little or no memory of your dental visit.

Will I be groggy after my treatment is over?   You will feel just fine, but slightly sleepy.  For your safety, we do require that you have a family member or friend drive you home, and that you do not drive for 24 hours. We also recommend for your safety to stay at home for the rest of the day.

Is Sedation Dentistry safe for me?   Before starting any treatment, we review your medical history, and determine if this is appropriate for you.  If so, during treatment, we monitor you very closely while you're under sedation. If you are not suitable for sedation we will recommend alternative treatment.

What is the medication that is used in oral sedation?

It is a little blue pill. A sedative hypnotic pill called Triazolam. It is short acting, and half of it is used up by your body within 2 hours. It is the same medication that is prescribed hundreds of thousands of times a year by physicians as a very safe prescription sleeping aid. The drug enforcement administration has categorized it as a schedule IV substance, which means it is only one category higher than common aspirin. And, used for dental sedation there has never been a single case of a severe emergency using it in the dental office and there has never  been a death using this medication in a dental office either. I emphasize, this medication is very safe. Again, this medication does not produce a deep sedation or general anesthesia.

Why do we only use a pill and or nitrous oxide gas, and not general anesthesia?  Well, 99% of time deep sedation or general anesthesia is just not necessary for general dentistry. Certainly, deep sedation and general anesthesia carries increased risks and is more dangerous. Another important thing is that some people who come to us are actually are afraid of needles, and don't want an I.V. in their arm. In this scenario we use the pill or inhalation sedation with nitrous oxide-oxygen or a pill is used for oral conscious sedation. The pill we use is placed under the tongue, allowed to dissolve and that's it! How much easier can that be? Another question we frequently hear is "are there any special restrictions prior to sedation dentistry?" Yes, there are.

  1. You won't be allowed to eat or drink anything after midnight the night before your appointment. We usually like to schedule Sedation cases first thing in the morning so that you do not stay hungry for too long. Breakfast is the only meal you will miss.
  2. No sedatives or alcohol 24 hours prior to or after your appointment.
  3. No stimulants, smoking or caffeine 12 hours before or after your appointment.
  4. And of course, you'll need a responsible person to drive you to your appointment, and return to bring you back home again after your appointment is over.

How about gagging?

This is another great benefit with sedation dentistry.  Patients who gag easily have a much easier time with sedation dentistry, and find that their gag reaction is greatly reduced or non existent with sedation.

Facts about Sedation Dentistry

  1. It works!
  2. It is safe! You take a small pill prior to your dental treatment and you have no needles in your mouth until you are totally relaxed and unaware.
  3. You will have little or no memory of the experience and you will not remember any sounds or smells.
  4. You can be kept comfortable from 2 - 6 hours after commencing treatment.
  5. Work requiring 6 to 8 regular dental appointments can usually be done in 1 or 2 visits with sedation dentistry.
  6. People who have difficulty getting numb have no problem when relaxed and sedated.
  7. We do all this with just a pill or laughing gas, a safe non-narcotic medication.
  8. These techniques are used to treat phobic patients safely thousands of times per year in dental offices across the country.

In our dental practice we believe in making every effort so that your dentistry is done in the most comfortable manner possible. For many patients this means offering sedation dentistry. You wouldn't think about getting your tonsils out or your wisdom teeth out without sedation, or an operation on your nose or ear, or laser eye surgery, or for that matter, almost any other surgery without sedation. Why should you have to go without sedation for general dentistry? Why shouldn't you have your dentistry done in the most comfortable, and yet safe way possible? In our practice we will make every effort to make your dentistry a very pleasant and comfortable experience.




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