While some patients might enjoy going to the dentist, that is not the case for everyone. Some people, often because of earlier traumatic dental experiences, have a difficult time with dental care. For those people we offer sedation dentistry.
What is Sedation Dentistry?
Sedation is a achieved through the administration of certain medications. While there are several types of dental sedation, Dr. Arnold prefers oral conscious sedation. A pill, taken about an hour before the appointment, relaxes you so profoundly that it may appear that you are unconscious, but you aren’t. You can respond to requests to open your mouth or otherwise cooperate with treatment, but you usually don’t even remember anything about the appointment. Unlike hospital anesthesia, you are able to breathe on your own and your protective reflexes are all completely functional.
The effects of the medication will last for several hours. Because of that, you will need to have someone drive you to and from your appointment, and it will not be safe for you to engage in physical work or other involved activities later in the day.
Is Oral Sedation Safe?
Yes, oral conscious sedation has a long track record of safety. It is called conscious sedation because you aren’t unconscious. Your vital functions continue normally. Still, just to be sure, we monitor your vital functions such as your heart rate and blood oxygenation. It may also reassure you to know that Dr. Arnold did a general practice residency in anesthesia, so he has more training than most when it comes to sedation. You’ll be in good hands.
When Is Oral Conscious Sedation Needed?
Patients who haven’t been to the dentist in a long time often find that they may need extensive work done to repair the damage of years without dental care. Sedation is especially useful in those cases. Because of the relaxed state you’re in, you can have more work done in one sitting. Without it, many patients find it difficult to sit that long with their mouth open.
Often people who haven’t been to the dentist in a while fear they’ll be judged by the dentist and staff. We can assure you that is not the case at Arnold Dental. We will not judge or lecture you but will treat you like family. We realize that it is quite normal for people with dental anxiety to avoid visiting the dentist. We’ll be glad you decided to come and our total attitude is wanting to help you any way we can.
When sedation medications are administered intravenously, it is possible to achieve a deeper level of sedation. While Dr. Arnold is trained to provide this level, he prefers the more moderate level achieved with oral medications. He finds that the pampering environment that his staff provides our patients helps them relax even before any medications are given and has found that combination to be very successful.
Pampering You During Treatment
From the beginning, even in initially designing our office space, we’ve been intentional about our patients’ comfort. We were careful to place the treatment rooms above the ground floor. We also oriented them toward the north so patients can enjoy the views without having the sun in their eyes. In choosing our dental chairs we went to the Chicago Midwinter Dental meeting so we could try out all the best chairs and make the most informed decision knowing this directly impacts your comfort.
Cozy blankets and pillows are available for all patients. Additionally, for hygiene patients, we offer warm paraffin hand treatments with a heated massage mat if desired. Warm scented hand towels make a relaxing finish. None of our appointments are rushed. We find this pampering greatly lowers the level of anxiety our patients feel and contributes to an overall wonderful treatment experience.
If you’re ready to try sedation dentistry, you may call our office to schedule an appointment. Or if you prefer, you may click here to request an appointment online.