The benefits of IV sedation from your dentist in Lawrence
The benefits of IV sedation from your dentist in LawrenceBy Dr. Les Miller
Patients undergoing common medical procedures are routinely offered sedation, to minimize stress, ensure patient comfort, and make the entire procedure go more smoothly. However, dental patients were historically denied this benefit. Drs. Les and Kelly Miller, of Lawrence, are among a growing group of dentists who believe that dental patients deserve the same consideration.
Types of sedationThere are several methods of sedation. Nitrous oxide, often referred to as “laughing gas,” is the most common. It is widely available in most dental offices, but the effects are minimal. Nitrous will induce mild relaxation, and help prevent pain. However, it does not have strong enough sedative properties to combat serious dental phobia.
Sedation dentistry practices typically offer oral or intravenous (IV) sedation in addition to nitrous. These two options have similar effects, but the delivery is quite different. Oral sedation requires a medication be ingested prior to the appointment, and the procedure begins after it has taken effect. Although this method is effective, it has several drawbacks. The most significant being pre-determined dosage. If the sedative is too strong or mild, it cannot be adjusted, because you have already swallowed the pill. Additionally, the sedative may begin wearing off before the end of a lengthy appointment.
IV sedation is the technique of choice in our office. It is delivered through an intravenous device, and it begins taking effect very quickly. Throughout your appointment, you are monitored and the medication can be adjusted as needed for optimal safety and comfort.
What to expectYou have surely heard IV sedation referred to as “sleep dentistry,” a term that leads many people to associate it with general anesthesia. However, they are different. Under dental sedation, you will remain conscious, in control of your body, and able to respond to questions or directions from your dentist. Many patients describe the experience as being pleasantly drowsy, or in a dreamy state, hence the reference to sleep.
In our office, the dentist does not administer the sedative. His or her full attention is directed to the patient and the dental procedure at hand. We have an excellent, highly trained nurse anesthetist who administers the medication, and makes adjustments as needed.
IV sedation may be right for you if you feel anxious when visiting a dentist, or have low pain tolerance, claustrophobia, strong gag reflex, or other issues that make dental care uncomfortable. It can also be useful for patients who need extensive dental work, as multiple procedures can be completed in a single appointment.
For more information, or to schedule an appointment, call us at (888) 993-1707.
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