Updated: Oct 21, 2019
Dental anxiety is a common issue with our patients, so we work hard to ensure each patient is as comfortable as possible during each visit. Dental sedation is an important tool for patients that have severe dental anxiety.
We understand that some patients have had terrible experiences in the past that can make them fear the dental office. For that reason, we analyze each step of our patients' experience at our office and ensure that there aren't any steps that can cause future dental anxiety.
There are multiple levels of dental anesthesia or sedation. The lowest level of anesthesia is known as local anesthesia, where the nerves of the teeth, gums, and jaw are anesthetized or numbed. This step is necessary in many dental procedures, and it is very important even when higher levels of sedation are utilized. Our experienced dentists work hard to make the numbing process as painless as possible, and we test to ensure proper numbing before beginning a dental procedure.
The next level of dental anesthesia is the use of nitrous oxide, or laughing gas. Nitrous oxide is an excellent method of alleviating dental anxiety. The combination of nitrous oxide with numbing medicine alleviates most patient's dental anxiety.
The use of oral medications can cause minimal sedation, and can be an excellent way to manage dental fears. When utilizing oral sedation for dental procedures, it is important to have an initial consultation where a customized sedation plan can be formulated with your dentist.
The next level of sedation is known as IV moderate conscious sedation. This method of sedation often utilizes the same medications as oral sedation, but the route of administration is intravenous rather than oral. The level of sedation is also deeper than oral sedation, and many patients will not remember anything from their dental visit.
Deep sedation and general anesthesia are usually administered by anesthesiologists, CRNA's, or oral surgeons. This level of sedation is common for wisdom teeth removal and other types of surgery.
using monitoring equipment. Lower levels of sedation have been shown to be safer for dental procedures than not utilizing any form of sedation. Dental procedures can be stressful, and stress can raise blood pressure and cause adverse cardiac or neurologic events. Dental sedation reduces stress which minimizes the chances of these events.
Dr. Adam Carraway pursued a General Practice Residency after dental school where be became proficient in IV Moderate Conscious Sedation and all other lower levels of sedation. Because of this training, we are able to work with patients to develop a plan to safely and effectively treat patients with dental anxiety.