Anxiety & Sedation

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We understand that many people experience anxiety and fear during their dental appointments; we offer the classics from kindness and consideration to laughing gas and sedation. We also offer music headphones and movie-glasses to help take your mind off the appointment. We’re best at keeping your experience pain free and relaxed.

Nitrous Oxide Sedation (Laughing Gas)

Nitrous Oxide is a sweet-smelling, non-irritating, colorless gas which you can breathe. Nitrous Oxide has been the primary means of sedation in dentistry for many years. In as little as 2-3 minutes its relaxation properties develop. The depth of sedation can be altered at any time to increase or decrease sedation.

Oral Conscious Sedation

If you are more anxious, you can benefit from an oral medication that is more effective than nitrous oxide. Dentistry has an excellent safety record. We are committed to advancing the safety of all dental procedures

and reducing risk. We are properly trained, certified and equipped to provide sedation.

It is important that you have all your concerns addressed. At your consultation visit, we will discuss all the options to help you relax and stay comfortable through your appointment and we will ensure that all your questions are answered.


Happy pills ease dental fears

By Samer Alassaad | Special to The Enterprise | March 24, 2013

Published in the local newspaper “The Davis Enterprise”, www.davisenterprise.com

 

The fear of visiting dentists is a universal phenomenon that limits access to dental care for many people. TV shows and movies routinely depict dental visits as terrifying experience that you may even be better off without.

Dentists, however, have gone to great lengths to address this anxiety issue which mostly stems from past bad experiences. Multiple approaches, including both behavioral and pharmacologic, have been used to reduce anxiety and make dental visits comfortable. A recent pharmacologic approach that is becoming very popular is conscious sedation achieved by prescribing pills that are taken before dental visits to ensure a relaxed experience.

Conscious sedation is a state of minimally depressed consciousness where patients always maintain their own breathing and protective nerve reflexes and are able to respond to physical and verbal stimuli. In contrast, general anesthesia is a state of complete unconsciousness where patients need assistance in breathing.

The most commonly used medication in conscious sedation is Triazolam (Halcion). This drug relieves anxiety by slowing down the central nervous system. Most patients describe feeling relaxed like you might experience after having alcoholic drinks. This medication also provides a period of amnesia, which explains why some patients believe that they were actually asleep. Although patients are still conscious, oxygen level in the body, heart rate, and blood pressure are constantly monitored during sedation.

Patient safety is always the paramount concern. Averting the risk of over-sedation starts with open communication between the doctor and the patient, identifying high risk situations in advance so that special measures are taken and doses are adjusted accordingly.

For example, grapefruit inhibits some of the body’s enzymes that metabolize Triazolam and thus increases the clinical effect of this medication. Alcohol and some recreational drugs depress the central nervous system and also amplify the effect of sedatives. These should not be consumed prior to sedation.

Elderly patients and those taking central nervous system depressants should have half the average dose of Triazolam initially and additional incremental doses should be administered carefully. Obesity puts patients at high risk because it increases their susceptibility to heart and respiratory incidents. Adherence to strict protocols by both, the doctor and the patient, is crucial to successful and safe sedation.

If someone has complex health conditions, a consultation with a medical doctor is required. In some cases, sedation may not be possible in a regular dental office setting; but it may still be possible in a hospital setting under the supervision of an anesthesiologist.

People should not let the fear of going to the dentist stand in their way of attaining good oral health especially when dentistry today acknowledges this fear and offers multiple options to ease it.