Sedation Dentistry

Once you’ve experienced sedation dentistry, you’ll never be afraid to go to the dentist again.

You’ll be sedated just enough to be unaware of the treatment.  When the procedure is completed, you’ll have little or no memory of what was accomplished

Because sedation is safe and predictable, we can use it to relieve your anxieties and increase your comfort while we fill your teeth, place or replace crowns or dentures, restore sore gums to good health, whiten yellow or stained teeth, fix a chipped tooth, or during virtually any other dental procedure normally done without sedation.

Imagine being able to smile with confidence and chew your food without pain.  No wonder so many patients say:  “Sedation dentistry changed my life.”

There are many reasons 50% of the population put dental care at the bottom of the healthcare list.  Some people are downright fearful while others have suffered bad experiences in the past including difficulty getting numb or a bad gag reflex.  Some need extensive care and simply can’t find enough hours in the day.

It’s time to rest easy.  Sedation Dentistry is here!

After an initial visit with us where all your questions and concerns will be answered, we’ll schedule your sedation appointment(s).  You’ll find your treatment is performed more comfortably than you might ever thought possible.  You’ll be drowsy, and unaware of the time passing by.  Our specially trained team will monitor you continually throughout the appointment.  The big plus?  We can accomplish extensive amounts of dentistry at one time, and you’ll have little or no memory of the experience. 

For anxious patients, this treatment is a miracle.  Your dental health is important and need not be neglected because you are nervous.  Sedation Dentistry is as simple as taking a pill for many patients.

Relaxing Restoration
Sedation Dentistry—We offer IV Sedation for the patient looking for a painless dental experience. 

We serve patients with a wide range of needs including those with dental phobias, anxiety, fear of shots, and severe gag reflexes.  In addition, we provide treatment to patients who seek IV sedation for the purpose of relaxation or convenience, thereby turning a stressful or lengthy appointment into a pleasant and comfortable experience.

Whatever the reasons- and regardless of how complex, simple or minimal the dental procedure – we make IV sedation available to any patient who requests it as long as you are fairly healthy.

We are committed to minimizing stress and maximizing safety.  We are just as committed to eliminating pain.  As you are discharged from our office after your dental treatment, we’ll provide you with a prescription for adequate pain control as well

Different Levels of Sedation for Different Needs
Intravenous sedation/conscious sedation is deeper, more reliable and controllable, and easily adjusted to each individual patient.  This is in contrast to other typical dental office agents like nitrous oxide (laughing gas) or pills (oral sedation) that only provide lighter levels of relaxation.

Mild or moderate sedation/procedural sedation in which you are awake but drowsy in a very effective way to relieve anxiety.  With slightly deeper sedation, you will be breathing on your own while monitored, but you will have little or no memory of your procedure once it’s completed.

The level of sedation will be adjusted according to your needs.

Why IV or Conscious Sedation?
The cost of hospital sedation for dental treatment is cost prohibitive for many patients.  Some patients were actually terrified, but they endured it.  And I would constantly hear stories of patients who had bad experiences and would no longer come close to a dental office.  There were just too many patients that were too afraid to see a dentist for even the most routine dental care.

I thought there must be a better way to help those frightened people get the dental work they want or need, and so I decided to offer IV sedation in my private office.  For those patients who were medically eligible or not seriously medically compromised, IV Sedation is the perfect solution.

IV Sedation Dentistry
The more relaxed a patient is during their dental visit, the more comfortable and successful their dental experience will be.  Until recently, doctors have been able to do little to relax patients who suffer anxiety at just the thought of a visit to the dentist.

Intravenous sedation is the answer for many patients.  Dr. Gould is trained in conscious IV sedation and administers relaxant drugs intravenously to the patient, using specific protocols.  Dr. Gould uses medical equipment to monitor the patient’s blood pressure, pulse, oxygen saturation and respiratory rates continuously to insure that the patient is completely comfortable and reacting normally throughout the procedure.

While sedated, patients are able to respond to verbal commands but they are so relaxed that they do not experience any pain, discomfort or anxiety.  In fact, patients usually report not remembering much of the procedure and actually believe they were asleep throughout their appointment.

Sedation in Dentistry
The Sedation Dental Care Standard
The standard of treating patients using sedation was set by physicians in the U.S. approximately 40 years ago.  It is nothing new for patients to be sedated for operations on knees, feet, wrists, ears, noses, or practically anything else.  Most dentists do not want to go through the additional training and accreditation process that is necessary to sedate patients. 

You wouldn’t think of having an ear operation or a nose operation without sedation.  But, you move one inch to the teeth and it becomes acceptable to endure time-consuming, strenuous, noisy, and uncomfortable procedures on the most sensitive, personal part of the body (the mouth) with no sedation.  Dentists attempt to work outside of the already established standard of using sedation.  Hence, we as dentists treat only 50% of the population while physicians treat over 90%.

I have found that fearful patients mentally have no problem being sedated for dental treatment.  You ask a nervous patient, “Would you rather have this work done in six appointments over the next two months or in one appointment while you sleep?” and they look at you like you’re crazy.  “Put me to sleep,” is all they say.

Sedation for certain types of dental care has been used for over thirty years.  If you asked a hundred patients who have had their wisdom teeth removed how they had it done, most would say they were put to sleep to have them removed.  The problem is that dentists say, “Oh root canals and drilling on teeth is not bad enough.”  This is why 50% of the population does not go to the dentist.  The patient is the one who needs to determine what is bad enough for them to warrant sedation, not the dentist.

Frequently Asked Questions about IV Sedation

Q:     Is gentle dentistry using IV sedation for everyone?

A:      This therapy is especially useful for those who:

  • experience medium to severe anxiety in anticipation of pain or discomfort (usually the result of a traumatic dental experience in childhood)
  • have had difficulty in the past with local anesthetics ‘not working’ for them (medium to extreme anxiety can sometimes heighten sensitivity)
  • find it difficult or uncomfortable to keep their mouth open for prolonged periods (usually caused by TMJ problems or other medical conditions)
  • find it very uncomfortable to have hands and instruments in their mouths (invasion of personal space)
  • have difficulty controlling their gag reflex
  • have a lot of work to be done and little time to spend (the dentist can work more quickly when a patient is sedated and is therefore unable to experience any discomfort)

 

Q:     Will I really be totally relaxed?

A:      Yes.  You’ll receive just enough sedation so that you’ll be relaxed and unconcerned about the dental treatment.

Q:     Will I remember anything?

A:      Typically, no.  At the end of the treatment, you’ll have little or no memory of what was accomplished.

Q:     Will I feel any pain?

A:      Most patients experience no discomfort whatsoever during treatment and feel surprisingly good afterwards.

Q:     Is gentle dentistry using IV sedation safe for me?

A:      We’ll review your medical history and if necessary, consult with your medical doctor to be sure.  Also, you'll be constantly monitored while under sedation.

Q:     Will my insurance cover it?

A:      It’s best to check with your dental plan provider.  However, we’ll review your coverage and, if necessary, make financial arrangements so you get the care you need.

Q:     How long will I be off work?

A:      Each patient is different, so this is a difficult question to answer.  However, we find that patients only need to take off the day of the procedure.  Most are working the next day.

Q:     Why don’t more dentists do IV Sedation?

A:      The training is extensive to qualify for this authorization. Dr. Gould was trained in IV Sedation at the Medical College of Georgia School of Dentistry and at the University of Southern California School of Dentistry.  To maintain the special authorization requires specialized courses on sedation which are costly and take additional time away from the office.

Q:     How do I prepare for IV Conscious Sedation?

A:      If you have been scheduled for a dental procedure using intravenous conscious sedation, please follow the following instructions.  Do NOT have anything to eat or drink eight hours before your appointment.  Continue to take prescribed medications unless previously instructed otherwise by Dr. Gould.  Bring a responsible person with you to drive you home after the procedure.  Your driver must be in the office reception area before your sedation can be started.

Q:     How long will I be under Sedation?

A:      The length of your appointment will depend upon the procedure being done.  There will also be arecovery period of 15 to 20 minutes after the procedure is finished.  Because of the drowsiness, you will then be taken in a wheel chair to your driver’s vehicle.  You must not drive or operate any machinery until the day after your intravenous sedation.