Frequently Asked Questions
Which patients benefit most from sedation dentistry?
Dr. Hank is a sedation dentistry specialist with advanced training in dental anesthesiology. Patients who benefit most from sedation dentistry include those with serious dental fears, fear of needles or shots, sensitive gag reflexes, extremely sensitive teeth, significant pain during treatment, and anyone who may have suffered a previously traumatic dental experience. Patients who need extensive dental treatment (multiple tooth extractions, implant placement, bone grafting) are also excellent candidates for sedation dentistry.
Importantly: If your fear of visiting the dentist stops you from getting treatment altogether, you are likely to be a perfect candidate for sedation dentistry. We will conduct an evaluation during your consultation to determine the best form of sedation therapy for you. For patients who are not good IV sedation candidates, we also offer oral sedation, which can similarly relax you using a pill-form medication or nitrous oxide sedation.
What is IV Sedation?
IV sedation is delivered directly into a vein in the hand or arm, allowing patients to quickly and painlessly fall into a state of deep relaxation. Unlike general anesthesia, IV sedation does not put patients into a sleep-like state, but it does have amnesiac qualities, meaning patients will remember little to nothing of their visit. The effects of IV sedation usually take a few hours to wear off, so patients should plan on coming with a loved one to help them leave our office and get home safely.
How does IV Sedation work?
IV sedation is very fast-acting, allowing patients to feel relaxed within minutes of receiving it. Dr. Michael is licensed to administer IV sedation, so he can easily and safely make your time in the dentist's chair tranquil. Throughout your treatment, you will be closely monitored by Dr. Michael and a nurse, who will adjust the administration of the sedation as necessary. With our strict adherence to safety standards, you can rest assured our team is deeply committed to protecting your health.
How is Oral Sedation dentistry different from IV Sedation?
Oral sedation has many of the same effects as IV Sedation however, the time it takes to get these effects is less predictable and the effects may linger much longer. If a patient has serious anxiety, oral sedation may not be the appropriate option. Oral sedation is administered by the patient 1 hour prior to their dental appointment and they bring a second pill with them to the appointment where Dr. Michael evaluates them to see if they need the second pill. At times, adequate sedation is observed and other times the second pill and nitrous oxide are administered to gain a comfortable level of sedation. Regardless, no treatment is initiated until the patient is comfortably sedated.
Is Sedation Dentistry Safe?
Yes. Sedation dentistry is a safe, efficient, effective method for many patients to receive dental treatment. It is actually safer than not receiving sedation since dental fear and stress could provoke a dental or medical emergency. Prior to starting sedation dentistry, Dr. Hank will work closely with you to determine the best sedation option for your treatment. As an expert in Dental Anesthesiology, Dr. Hank will safely and precisely provide sedation dentistry when it is the best option for a patient's comfort and care.
Am I a Good Candidate for Sedation Dentistry?
If you are in good overall health and are over the age of 18, you are most likely a good candidate for IV sedation. We often recommend IV sedation in the following cases:
Dental phobic patients
Tooth extraction, especially multiple tooth extraction
Complex or lengthy procedures, such as implant placement or bone grafting
Patients with certain painful medical conditions, such as severe neck or back pain, or arthritis
Patients with a gag reflex
Dental implant, sinus augmentation, or bone grafting procedures - oral surgery