Sedation Dentistry- treating dental anxiety at Grimes Dentistry


sedation dentistryDoes the thought of having your teeth treated make you nervous? Would you rather endure the agony of a toothache than step foot in a dentist’s office? You’re not alone. A trip to the dentist is so anxiety provoking for many people that they prefer not to have any treatment. If the thought of seeing a dentist for a routine visit fills you with anxiety, sedation dentistry may be the solution to ease your fears. Sedation can be used for everything from dental surgery to a tooth cleaning. For even the most severe dental phobias, there is no reason to hesitate to reach out for help at Grimes Dentistry.

What is sedation dentistry?

Sedation dentistry uses medication to help patients relax during dental procedures. The levels of sedation used include:

  • Minimal sedation – the patient is awake, but relaxed.
  • Moderate sedation (formerly called “conscious sedation”) – the patient may slur words when speaking, and not remember much of the procedure.
  • Deep sedation – the patient is on the edge of consciousness but can still be awakened.

How do I know if I am a candidate for sedation?

Your physical and mental health are evaluated to determine if you are a candidate for sedation in the dental office. Some medical conditions may require clearance from a physician: cardiac disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and lung diseases should all be addressed prior to sedation. The dentists at Grimes Dentistry take a thorough medical history and perform a physical assessment before proceeding. We may need to receive medical clearance from your physician.

What are the types of dental sedation?

  • Laughing Gas: The most common form of sedation at Grimes Dentistry is nitrous oxide, or “laughing gas.” Nitrous oxide does not put you to sleep. It’s effective at reducing anxiety about dental procedures and it’s very safe. Local injections of anesthesia might be necessary for some dental procedures. Nitrous oxide can make the injections much more comfortable.
  • Enteral (Oral) Sedation: The next type of sedation comes in the form of a pill you take orally. It is sometimes used in combination with nitrous oxide. You may still be awake, but less nervous about the dental procedure. Oral sedation is more powerful than nitrous oxide alone. Patients who receive oral sedation usually have temporary amnesia, causing them to have little memory of the dental procedure.
  • IV Sedation: Intravenous (IV) sedation is another common method of anti-anxiety sedation wherein the medication is directly injected to a vein. This technique will allow us to provide a deeper sedation, although you will still be awake but less aware of the procedure. The process requires recovery time before you leave the office. In treatments both complex and simple, Grimes Dentistry is pleased to offer IV sedation by physician anesthesiologist Dr. Madiha Yazdani. For those who may struggle with anxiety and discomfort when receiving care, Dr. Yazdani will work to enhance your dental experience. We are proud to have her on our team.

How safe is sedation dentistry?

There is always a risk in getting anesthesia. It is safe, though, when given by experienced dentists or medical doctors. People who are obese or who have obstructive sleep apnea might need physician approval before having sedation because they are more likely to develop complications from anesthesia. It is important to make sure that your dentist or medical doctor is trained and qualified to administer the type of sedation you will be receiving.

What is the process of getting sedation dentistry?

Before the procedure, your dentist will go over your medical history. Your dentist will ask about medications you’re currently taking and will determine whether you’re a candidate for sedation. You will be asked to carefully read a form detailing risks of sedation. As you are filling out paperwork, please ask any questions you can think of in terms of the sedation or procedure. We require paperwork be completed in any instance of sedation so you can know and understand the risks associated with sedation. Our office has oxygen and supplies which reverse the effects of sedation if needed. Your doctor will monitor your vital signs before, during, and following your sedation procedure.

Grimes Dentistry offers oral sedation for various surgeries, longer appointments, or for patients with anxiety. Dr. Grimes will dispense to you Halcion; considered a safe benzodiazapines. This medication will be taken as soon as you arrive at the dental office for your procedure, generally one hour prior to your appointment. The medications have sedative and anti-anxiety properties. We will use pulse oximetry equipment to measure your body’s oxygen for added safety. You may not remember much of what happened during and shortly after your appointment so you need to have a responsible person drive you and care for you until the sedation effects diminish.

Before Oral Sedation

  • You may not have anything to eat or drink for eight (8) hours prior to the appointment.
  • A responsible adult must accompany the patient to the office, remain in the office during the procedure, and drive the patient home.
  • The patient should not drive a vehicle, or operate any machinery, for 24 hours following the anesthesia experience.
  • Please wear loose fitting clothing with sleeves which can be rolled up past the elbow, and low-heeled shoes.
  • Contact lenses, jewelry, and dentures must be removed at the time of surgery.
  • Do not wear lipstick, excessive makeup, or nail polish on the day of surgery.
  • If you have an illness such as a cold, sore throat, stomach or bowel upset, please notify the office.
  • If you take routine oral medications, please check with Dr. Grimes prior to your surgical date for instructions.

Call us at 806-79TEETH or Grimes Dentistry Phone Number 806-798-3384 to schedule an appointment.