What is Sedation Dentistry?
Simply put, sedation dentistry is using a combination of techniques that safely and comfortably allow you to be completely unconscious through your dental visit. It is a real breakthrough for a variety of patient needs. Our specialty at Northwest Sedation Dentistry, is to provide the highest quality dentistry combined with the safety of an anesthesiologist monitoring the sedation.
What will my first visit be like?
At your first appointment, we will accomplish as much as you are comfortable with, ranging from a simple consultation in which we review your health to a comprehensive exam with all of the necessary radiographs. For our disabled patients, the first visit is often a consultation with their care provider. We customize your care based on your individual needs and comfort level. While we prefer to gather as much information as possible prior to sedation, some of our patients’ first visit is together with the anesthesiologist. Once they are completely asleep, we are then able to accomplish the full exam and necessary x-rays. Then, we can review their treatment plan with their medical guardian. During your first visit, we will also determine the sedation options that best fit your individual needs. We have a special radiograph machine that allows capturing all the images of your teeth without the traditional paper films or sensors in your mouth. The machine is also capable of capturing 3D images, often necessary for surgical and root canal procedures.
What will my treatment appointment be like?
You will help us choose the level of sedation required to accomplish your dental care. If you choose to use nitrous oxide or take a relaxing medication prior to your dental visit, you will be relaxed for the procedure but will be conscious and able to respond to directions during your dental appointment. Dr. Wieland and Angela will monitor your level of sedation and vital signs.
If you choose IV sedation, you will be completely unconscious for your dental treatment, comparable to general anesthesia. For this level of sedation, an anesthesiologist will be with you, monitoring your health throughout the entire appointment with all of the necessary monitoring devices to ensure safety. Upon administration of the IV medication, you will quickly feel relaxed and completely unaware of your surroundings.
Patients are encouraged to wear loose, comfortable clothing. You may bring headphones or use those provided at our office. You may also bring a blanket if you would like.
Sedation helps to reduce pain and discomfort, and you will feel little to no pain or discomfort.
Are there different levels of sedation?
Sedation levels are dependent on the individual, we will sedate you in order to make your procedure comfortable and pain free, which could make you unconscious.
What are the benefits of IV sedation?
Just like other forms of sedation dentistry, IV sedation is designed to relax you and make you completely comfortable. IV sedation is very predictable and customizable to your individual need. IV sedation predictably eliminates your anxiety and pain. Because you are asleep, Dr. Wieland can accomplish more high-quality dentistry in less time. IV sedation can benefit you if you have one or more of the following conditions:
- A sensitive gag reflex
- Difficulty sitting in a dental chair for long periods of time
- High dental anxiety
- Low tolerance for pain
- Special needs/disabled
- Need a large amount of dental work done at once
Are there different levels of sedation?
Sedation levels are dependent on your individual needs. Based on your comfort level and direction, we will provide the level of sedation necessary to make your dental procedures comfortable and pain free. We offer:
- Nitrous oxide: a gas breathed throughout a dental procedure that provides relaxation. You will be conscious with this form of sedation and able to respond to instructions. You will also be able to bring yourself to your appointment and take yourself home as the sedation leaves your body very quickly.
- Oral sedatives: pills taken prior to your dental appointment and often the night before to ensure a restful night of sleep. You will be conscious during your dental appointment and able to respond to instructions. With this form of sedation, you must have someone bring you to your dental appointment and take you home afterwards. The effects of the sedation typically take 24 hours to completely leave your body.
- IV sedation: you will be completely unconscious for your dental appointment. The results of this form are popular because of the predictability of the sedation. Upon recovery, you will need someone to transport you home and to monitor you as the effects of the medications wear off.
How is sedation monitored and how long are typical procedures?
Different forms of sedation require different levels of monitoring. Based on the sedation form you choose, we will safely monitor your health during your dental appointment. With IV sedation, an anesthesiologist will be carefully monitoring all of your vital signs throughout your appointment utilizing sophisticated monitoring devices.
The length of sedation is dependent on the procedures to be completed. Some treatments are accomplished in less than an hour. For other more extensive treatment needs, a much longer appointment will be required. For longer and more complicated treatment needs, IV sedation offers the most flexibility.
Is sedation dentistry safe?
Oral Sedation Dentistry protocols have been used safely for over 30 years with millions of dental procedures. Before starting any treatments, your doctor will review your medical history and explain how NWSD can work for you. During treatment we constantly monitor each patient with a computerized pulse oximeter, which measures heart rate, blood pressure and oxygen saturation. We also have a reversal agent on hand that reverses the effect of the medicine in less than 30 seconds. We have treated numerous patients safely and comfortably. We want you to feel good about going forward towards a healthy, new smile.
Is IV sedation safe?
The use of sedation and anesthesia in dentistry has a commendable record of safety. This is due to the advanced training of Dr. Wieland and our anesthesiologist and their commitment to your overall health. It is important to advise our anesthesiologist of all medications that you take as well as any changes in your health since your last visit.
Our anesthesiologists are doctors with a specialty in anesthesia. Dr. Wieland, our team and our anesthesiologist have all had specialized training providing the ability to handle emergency situations as well as having specific emergency medications and equipment available.
What if I do not have transportation following sedation?
If there are any other NWSD FAQ’s that you’d like to know more about, feel free to call us at 503-266-2629. We look forward to hearing from you.