Avoiding necessary dental care due to fear or anxiety of coming to the dentist can lead to severe dental problems. At Winterholler Dentistry, we understand your fears and can provide all levels of Sedation Dentistry or anesthesia for restorative, implant and cosmetic dentistry procedures. This can greatly reduce your dental anxieties and help you feel calm and confident. Plus, it allows the dentists to provide you higher quality care.
At Winterholler Dentistry, we offer the highest levels of comfort and care available in one location.
Sedation is a safe, effective option that helps patients feel calm and relaxed in the dental chair. It also makes it easier for your dentist to give you higher quality care. Best of all, many insurance companies cover sedation and there are a variety of types to fit your need.
General sedation is the broad term used to describe sedation at hospitals and dental clinics. It usually leaves the patient in some form of an unconscious or unaware state and can take the form of an inhaled gas or an injected liquid. There are three basic levels of sedation used in dentistry, in addition to complete unconsciousness (which is primarily used in hospitals):
- Mild: You’ll feel little or no pain and be able to respond to most commands like you normally would.
- Moderate: Also known as “conscious sedation,” this also involves no pain, but you’ll respond via verbal or light stimulation.
- Deep: This is known as “sleep dentistry” and you don’t respond to anything but painful stimulation, which is rare.
Patients with moderate and deep sedation tend to not even remember the procedure, which adds even more peace of mind. There are also a variety of sedative combinations that can be used to put the patient more at ease. According to the American Society of Dentist Anesthesiologists (ASDA), “most dental cases can be done under local anesthesia alone or sometimes in conjunction with an oral sedative and nitrous oxide sedation.” Each of these types of sedation has a unique use.
This is a form of moderate or deep sedation that uses an injected liquid, usually administered through the veins on the top of your hand or inner elbow. Since it involves a needle, it’s not as common as oral sedation, but is more effective at controlling your anxiety and peacefulness. IV sedation is ideal for the following reasons:
- It leaves you in a completely relaxed state.
- It lets you receive high-quality dentistry in less time.
- It controls gag reflex.
- The next day, you’ll remember little to nothing of your appointment.
Overall, IV sedation is ideal for major procedures, those with a high amount of dental anxiety and those who would like to have multiple procedures done during the same day.
Oral sedation is usually mild and is the most popular form of sedation used by dentists. In fact, millions of people are prescribed oral sedatives by dentists and doctors every day. Usually taken by mouth in the form of medication, oral sedation is just as effective at reducing or eliminating pain and helping patients feel calm and relaxed. Best of all, it’s very little risk. Here are some other benefits of oral sedation:
- It does not carry many side effects.
- It allows the dentist and dental staff to better monitor you throughout the procedure.
- It’s a great alternative for people with a fear of needles.
- You remember little to nothing of your time at the dental clinic.
Oral sedation has been used for decades is ideal for most dental procedures, as the vast majority of patients are pleased with the results.
Drs. Chris and Patrice Winterholler are active members of the Dental Organization for Conscious Sedation (DOCS). This organization provides ongoing continuing education which keeps us up-to-date with the most effective and safe ways to give oral sedation.
Commonly known as “laughing gas,” nitrous oxide is a form of mild sedation inhaled through the nose. Odorless and colorless, it has been used for over a century, but delivery methods have greatly improved in efficiency and effectiveness. It’s particularly effective at combating dental anxiety by distracting patients from pain. Here are some benefits of nitrous oxide:
- You won’t have pain, but will still be aware of your surroundings.
- Your anxiety and fears levels are drastically reduced.
- It’s safe for everyone from small children to the elderly.
- There are few if any side effects.
While not likely to be recommended for major dental procedures, nitrous oxide is a great way to calm patients, even if used in conjunction with other forms of sedation.
A mild form of sedation with the least number of risks, local anesthesia numbs a small area in the mouth via an injection or cream. It’s safe, effective and usually used for minor procedures or in combination with other sedatives.
Winterholler Dentistry has partnered with local anesthesiologists who will come to our offices during your dental procedure when more extensive surgery or implants are required.
Every patient is different, so the type of sedation you receive may not be the same as someone else with a similar procedure. But you can rest assured that Drs. Chris & Patrice Winterholler are well-prepared to administer the correct form of sedation thanks to extensive training and experience.
If you still have concerns about Sedation or anesthesia – or would simply like to learn more about it – schedule a consultation with Winterholler Dentistry today.