Sedation Dentistry

Best Sedation Dentists in North Spokane & Spokane Valley

Sedation Dentistry refers to the application of tranquilizing and relaxing the patient before and during a dental procedure. The medications used are called sedatives and work by depressing the central nervous system, especially the areas concerned with conscious awareness. For people who fear or panic visits to the dentist, sedation can help reduce their level of anxiety, enabling them to calm down during the visit. These sedating agents are at times referred to as sleep dentistry though not all of the medications in this class cause sedation. Sedated patients remain awake unless they are under general anesthetics that induce loss of consciousness. There are different types of sedation that we apply in dentistry in order to relax our patients, and they include:

Options in Sedation Dentistry:

The best part about sedation dentistry is that you can choose the specific method that you are comfortable with. We offer multiple levels of sedation dentistry, depending on the patient’s unique needs and preferences. We never want you to be nervous about receiving sedation, as we are licensed by The American Dental Association and we are respectful and professional at all times.

There are three sedative states at that may be administered during your dental treatments: mild sedation, moderate sedation, and deep sedation.

-Inhalation Sedatives

This process involves inhalation of small doses of a sedative to induce sedation. The popular sedative used for this purpose is usually nitrous oxide, also known as laughing gas. This gas is administered via a face mask usually placed over the nose of the patient and helps the patient to relax. We will regulate the amount of medication you receive, and the effect of the gas tends to wear off quickly.

-Oral Sedation

Oral sedation includes minimal to moderate sedation while ingesting a sedative through the mouth. The most common used drug is Halcion which is typically taken one hour before the start of the dental procedure. Just like the gas, you will remain awake after taking the pill, but you will feel a bit drowsy. In some cases, patients when given oral sedation fall asleep but can be woken up by a slight shake.

-Intravenous Moderate Sedation

Intravenous moderate sedation is administered via your veins. The effects of the drug via this method are usually very fast. General anesthesia is used to induce unconsciousness. The induction occurs because drugs depress the central nervous system and alter the level of consciousness. The effects of general anesthetics don’t wear off quickly, thus the patient cannot be woken up until the induction is over.

Despite the kind of sedation, you will be given some local anesthetics at the site of operation to relieve pain while we perform the procedure.

When you book your appointment with us, we will advise you on the appropriate sedative for your case and help you avoid any allergy complications.

Sedation Dentistry North Spokane - Sedation Dentist Spokane Valley - Sedation Dentistry Specialists

About Nitrous Oxide

Nitrous oxide goes by many names, including laughing gas, inhalation sedation, and happy gas, but its purpose is to sedate patients for a short time during dental procedures. The dentist administers this colorless, odorless gas to ease any anxiety during a procedure and make the patient more comfortable. A hood is fitted over the patient’s nose, then the dentist controls the amount of gas administered to the patient. Since nitrous oxide is a conscious sedation method, the patient will not go to sleep, but will feel relaxed. The patient is awake enough to listen to the dentist and follow any instructions during the procedure.

What To Expect

Oxygen is usually added to the nitrous oxide gas for safer results. The dentist will begin the sedation by placing a hood over the patient’s nose that will be inhaled as the patient breathes normally. The patient will begin to feel light-headed within a few minutes as the nitrous oxide will start working. The patient will then begin to notice a tingling sensation (usually in the arms and legs) or a warm, vibrating feeling through the body. At full effect, the nitrous oxide gas will make the patient experience a sense of euphoria and allow the dentist to complete the procedure without any discomfort to the patient. The nitrous oxide can be used as long as it is needed, plus it can be switched on and off by the dentist depending on the patient’s needs.

Treatment Aftercare

Once the nitrous oxide is stopped, the gas and its effects will leave the body in minutes. The patient should have no lasting effects and is able to take themselves home after the procedure. There are usually no negative side effects associated with nitrous oxide gas when used for sedation, but some patients may experience slight nausea. To prevent nausea, the patient should eat a light meal before their procedure.

Oral Sedation

At our  dental office, we use a variety of different oral sedation techniques to make our patients as comfortable and relaxed as possible during dental treatment. Our most commonly used sedation dentistry medications are benzodiazepines, which are safe and effective. They are administered orally prior to treatment. With oral sedation, our patients are awake and able to respond to questions, but feel calm and unaware of the sights, smells and sounds of the dental office. Often times our patients are relaxed enough from oral sedation to actually fall asleep during the procedure.

About Oral-conscious Sedation

The dentist can administer oral-conscious sedation to patients during certain invasive procedures or for patients who have anxiety or are afraid of their visit to the dentist. Oral-conscious sedation is taken as a pill about an hour prior to the procedure. The pill can be made for a mild to moderate sedation, depending on the patient’s needs and the procedure being performed. Mild sedation will make the patient feel drowsy, but they do not usually fall asleep. Moderate sedation is used during more invasive procedures to make the patient feel drowsy and the patient may fall into a light sleep. While other sedation methods can be adjusted during the procedure, the level of oral-conscious sedation can’t be changed.

What To Expect

The dentist will meet with the patient to thoroughly review their medical history, medications, and any allergies to determine if the patient qualifies for oral-conscious sedation. If oral-conscious sedation is chosen, the doctor will prescribe the pill for the patient to take about one hour before their procedure. The patient will not be able to drive to or from their appointment, since the patient will be conscious, but in a tranquil state. During the procedure, the patient will be able to hear the dentist and to follow any instructions. Some patients may fall asleep during the procedure, but they can be easily waked when the procedure is finished.

Treatment Aftercare

Patients should not drive for at least 24 hours after taking oral-conscious sedation, so they dentist recommends that each patient have a responsible adult take them home after their procedure. While the patient usually remains conscious during the procedure, the sedation causes short-term memory loss. Oral-conscious sedation is generally safe, but some patients may experience temporary nausea. Any unusual side effects or lasting pain should be reported to the dentist immediately.

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