Dental Sedation for Pasadena, Deer Park Texas
Thirty percent of Americans avoid the dentist because of fear and anxiety. Sedation Dentistry can help people receive their dental treatment in a calm and relaxed atmosphere. Unfortunately, most dentists do not pursue the extra training and education required to be certified for sedation dentistry. Dr. Nugent’s passion for learning has established himself as a leader of sedation dentistry in Pasadena, Texas.
Most of the patients Dr. Nugent encounters have had a bad experience at the dentist when they were younger. Past experiences play a huge role in our lives. Dr. Nugent takes the time to listen to each patient. He will discuss the different sedation options and the benefits of sedation.
A lot of Dr. Nugent’s sedation patients start their initial treatment with some form of sedation, but feel so comfortable with Dr. Nugent and his staff’s bedside manner that they have future treatment without any sedation.
What are the Advantages of Sedation Dentistry?
Sedation dentistry allows the patient to receive the dental care they need in a peaceful and relaxed state. It can be used for any dental procedure, from simple cleanings to advanced lengthy procedures. Because the medications have an amnesic component, most patients do not have any memory of their dental visit and there are few, if any, sedation dentistry side effects. Lengthy appointments can easily be completed because the patient is relaxed and unaware of time. This reduces the number of visits because more treatment can be accomplished.
Why Sedation Dentistry?
The main reasons for sedation dentistry are:
- Sedation dentistry calms nerves and reduces anxiety. – Patients dislike the dental environment. They hate the sounds, tastes, smells and sensations associated with dentistry.
- Sedation dentistry is physically easier on patients. – Patients who have bad neck and backs report that sedation dentistry alleviated the pain of laying in a dental chair. Furthermore, sedation dentistry is easier on patients who have difficulty or pain from opening their mouths during dental procedures.
- Sedation dentistry makes longer appointments feel shorter. – Patients have diminished time perceptions under sedation. More treatment can be performed during the visit resulting in fewer appointments.
- Sedation dentistry helps patients that have trouble getting numb or sensitive teeth. – Patients who have difficulty getting numb or have sensitive teeth find that sedation allows them to be relaxed and helps with anesthesia.
Local anesthesia is used during most dental procedures. This medication is administered as an injection designed to temporarily prevent the teeth nerve fibers from transmitting impulses, thereby numbing the area. The local anesthesia is the only type of anesthesia, which when used alone, will completely eliminate pain. It is possible, however, to combine local anesthesia with various types of conscious sedation techniques to further reduce your awareness and anxiety with the procedure.
Nitrous oxide, or “laughing gas,” is the lightest form of conscious sedation. It is administered by breathing through a nasal mask. It has several very appealing properties. First, it is very short acting and is completely eliminated from the body minutes after turning it off, thereby allowing the patient to leave the office without an escort because there is no hang-over effect. Secondly, nitrous oxide can be patient regulated. If you want to feel more of its effects, you simply breath more frequently and deeply. Conversely, if you breathe through your mouth, you will feel less of its effects. Finally, the last appealing property is the cost. In most cases, there is little or no cost associated with the use of nitrous oxide. The big drawback to nitrous oxide is that even at its highest level of effectiveness, it is only minimally effective at reducing awareness and anxiety. Although its effects vary from patient-to-patient, most patients feel nitrous oxide “just takes the edge off.”
Oral pre-medication (or pills) are the next step up in the conscious sedation spectrum. Many different medications can be used, with Valium, Halcion, and Ativan being some of the most common ones. The advantages to oral pre-medication are that it is more effective than nitrous oxide, and it is also very inexpensive to administer. The patient will usually take the medication a half hour to one hour prior to the appointment, and the duration of the effects will vary. But, in all cases, the patient must have an escort both to and from the office. Although more effective than nitrous oxide, the effectiveness and onset of action are unpredictable.
Intravenous “IV” Sedation
Intravenous sedation, also known as “twilight sleep” or conscious sedation, will put you in a safe, relaxed, and comfortable state throughout your surgery. It is the most effective means of reducing awareness and anxiety for dental procedures. It is administered through an intravenous line (IV), and is therefore much more predictable in terms of effectiveness due to the quick onset of action. Although the patient is technically conscious throughout the procedure, in most cases, they will be completely unaware of the dental procedure. The disadvantage of conscious sedation is, of course, the increased cost and the need for an escort home after the procedure. But, for the patient who wants to be “the most” comfortable during the procedure, it is certainly the best way to go. Dr. Ragsdale provides IV sedation for our office.
How does Sedation Dentistry work?
This depends on what level of sedation the patient chooses.
- Nitrous Oxide (laughing gas) is very simple. A nose piece is simply placed over the nose. The Nitrous Oxide is delivered via the tubing.
- For oral sedation, patients will arrive at the office and be escorted to our treatment suite. Vital signs will be checked. Then you will take your pill and our advanced monitoring computer will be started. The lights will be dimmed and when the medication starts working Dr. Nugent will return and start the Nitrous Oxide (laughing gas). Your dental treatment will begin as you rest comfortably and relaxed in the dental chair.
- For IV sedation, Dr. Ragsdale will do an advanced medical screening. He will start the IV sedation in the patient’s arm and medication will be delivered easily and safely so the patient can get the ultimate relaxation.
What sedation dentistry pill will I be taking?
The most common pill is Triazolam (Halcion). It is fast acting and unlike other drugs it does not have any active metabolites. It has been used since 1982 and has a tremendous safety record. In fact, medical doctors prescribe Triazolam over ten millions times a year for use at home.
Will I be asleep?
Most patients tend to fall in and out of a sleep like state. However, the patient will still be able to respond to verbal commands and will retain the ability to protect his/her airway. Patients will lose chronological awareness and to the patient the appointment will fly by. Our most nervous and fearful patients have been thrilled and overjoyed with the results of their sedation dentistry.
If you are scared to come to the dentist or would just like to feel more comfortable at your dental appointments then sedation dentistry is a great option.
“You will never be judged or embarrassed. We are a No-Guilt, No Lecture Dental Office.” —Michael Nugent DDS