Are you afraid of needles and drills? Does the sound of the drill bother you?
It is common for many patients to feel nervous or anxious about their dental procedures. Whether you are having a dental implant, filling, crown or deep cleaning, dentistry can be very scary. You are not alone!
What is Sedation and Anesthesia?
During dental procedures local anesthesia (Novocaine) is administered to block pain sensations. However, the anxiety that some people need to be controlled by administering sedative drugs, such as Valium type medications. A sedated patient may remember the procedures, but usually does not.
How is the Medication Administered?
The sedative and anesthetic medications are typically given intravenously (IV). Since the effects are so rapid by this means of administration, I can precisely give the correct amounts of the medications to make you relaxed and comfortable. Also, if more medications are needed during the procedure, the IV allows easy administration of additional medications.
Intravenous Sedation (IV Sedation) produces a very predictable sedation. The safe medications are delivered intravenously and can be easily adjusted to the needs of the patient. With longer treatment times, the drugs can be re-administered to keep you comfortable at all times. This is not possible with oral medications. IV Sedation also uses pain relieving drugs.
How am I Monitored During the Procedure?
Depending on the depth of the sedation and anesthetic being used, as well as your own medical conditions, various monitors are used. These vary from automatic blood pressure cuffs, to the use of pulse oximeters which through a light sensor measure the oxygen concentration in your blood. Sometimes an EKG may be used as well.
Is Anesthesia Safe?
The use of sedation and anesthesia in dentistry has an excellent record of safety. When a patient needs complicated dental procedures in a single session, IV Sedation is clearly the method of choice.