For some people, a trip to the dentist is the stuff of nightmares. NBC News told the story of Barbara Scott, a 50-year-old woman who had responded poorly to Novocain as a child and had to endure drilling and filling without any anesthetic at all. “I can remember sitting there with tears running down my face,” she recalled, saying that she often put off needing work done, which only made problems worse. When she heard about sedation dentistry, she said she felt it “was totally an answer to a prayer.”
Dr. Nick and Dr. Elliot’s sedation dentistry on Long Island aims to make you as comfortable and relaxed as possible during your dental procedure. Here are five points to consider before your next appointment.
We can do four different methods of sedation:
The general rule of thumb is to use as little anesthesia as possible to reach the desired state of relaxation.
The Chicago Tribune details how dental patient Valerie Carlson used sedation for regular teeth cleaning. “There is no other option for me,” she said. “I can’t even hear the instruments. It just makes my skin crawl.” Here at Long Island Implant and Cosmetic Dentistry, we have some extremely anxious patients who prefer to be sedated for routine procedures.
Sedation dentistry is appropriate for patients with:
While sedation dentistry is considered safe, patients with the following conditions should speak with a general practitioner for clearance before their procedures:
The Commission on Dental Accreditation is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as the national accrediting body for advanced dental education in the United States. In New York State, dentists must have at least two years of accredited post-doctoral education in anesthesia or have completed a graduate level program in oral and maxillofacial surgery to administer general anesthesia. For IV sedation, dentists must clock at least 60 hours of coursework and clinical experience on at least 20 patients with an accrediting body before certification. They must be trained in Advanced Cardiac Life Support and emergency management as well.
A good sedation dentist will:
For more information about sedation dentistry with Suffolk County cosmetic dentists Dr. Elliot and Dr. Nick, please call us to arrange a free consultation by dialing 631-296-0602.
Every year millions of Americans postpone dental visits out of anxiety and fear. Traumatic incidents from childhood and a fear of needles and grinding drills are just some of the reasons given by patients. This so called “dental phobia” prevents many from getting routine preventative care, which can lead to much bigger problems – and costly treatments– later on.
Sedation dentistry, sometimes called sleep dentistry, is now widely used to help quell patient fears when having routine procedures like teeth cleanings, fillings (whether new or replacing amalgam) and crowns. Sedation dentistry is gaining popularity across a number of fronts, not only because of its safety, but for its practicality when used in more invasive, multi-step procedures like dental implants.
Conscious oral sedation, nitrous oxide ( a.k.a. laughing gas) and IV sedation are the three methods used today. Unlike general anesthesia which completely puts you out, nitrous and oral sedation keep you awake but in an extremely relaxed, almost dream-like state. Passing minutes feel more like seconds and patients float through the entire visit without any pain or sensation. A deeper sedation through IV medication puts patients into a twilight sleep, erasing all memories of the procedure.
Dr. Bob Lalor, a certified NY State dentist in Parenteral Conscious Sedation, has been helping conquer dental fears in his practice for over a decade. “Patients who benefit from sedation dentistry may have but are certainly not limited to: an extreme fear or anxiety of visiting the dentist, problems with a gag reflex, overly sensitive teeth, and or a need for complex dental treatment.” He says that sedation is “a simple, relaxing way to experience dentistry” for many of his patients, whether they’re getting a deep cavity filled, or need other restorative dental work.
A highly respected dental blog launched in 2009, Dental Geek has been covering all of the hottest topics in the industry including why patients are so afraid of their dentist. “Memories of childhood visits, or painful treatment bring on the nerves and cause many to either avoid seeing a dentist altogether until an emergency crops up, or to dread the visit so much that they arrive at the surgery in a state of panic,” says contributing author Emma Ward. “There are relaxation exercises that people can learn and practice before coming to their appointment. Chemical intervention, such as nitrous oxide, sedation or anti-anxiety medication can be discussed.”
Beyond routine cleanings, fillings, and the occasional tooth extraction, sedation dentistry is immensely useful for complex procedures that would normally take several visits. For instance, patients getting periodontal surgery along with a complete “smile makeover” with implants can typically get the work done in fewer appointments.
But does nitrous oxide or oral sedation pose serious health risks? When administered by a trained dentist, “sedation carries very little risk and is suitable for a large number of patients who have been carefully pre-screened,” says Long Island cosmetic dentist, Dr. Elliott.
“Nevertheless,” he continues, we still obtain medical clearance from the patient’s physician prior to that visit. We have an in depth consultation for each patient as to why they feel the need to be under any type of sedation. For example, a candidate needing dental implants or a root canal would be recommended IV sedation. It is the most intense level of sedation dentistry performed in our practice.”
Whether you just want an anxiety-free dental cleaning or desire the amnesia effect of IV sedation for a more intricate procedure, a dentist certified in IV and PO Sedation can discuss the benefits and types of sedation dentistry for suitable your needs.
Dr. Nick and Dr. Elliot at Long Island Implant and Cosmetic Dentistry understand the trepidation many people feel when coming in to have work done on their teeth. The fear of pain, unpleasant sounds, needles, and complications can be overwhelming, and unique to the individual.
We take a compassionate approach to dentistry with gentle hands and offer our patients multiple options for sedation during cosmetic dental procedures. Here are some of the frequently asked questions about sedation dentistry, which will hopefully help assuage some of your concerns.
Sedation is routinely used for:
Ideally, you would go to sleep, leave your pain behind, and wake up feeling great — with a brand new, beautiful smile. Total sedation is possible for some patients and some procedures, especially if you are extremely sensitive, anxious, or fearful of the dentist and have an easily triggered gag reflex. We most commonly use IV sedation when multiple procedures are required or when we’re dealing with a patient who is extremely distressed by what needs to be done.
However, the American Dental Society of Anesthesiology cautions against using total sedation with patients who have:
For these patients, we may consider a form of conscious sedation, which will safely relieve anxiety.
Conscious sedation via oral pill or laughing gas puts patients into an altered state of consciousness that minimizes pain and discomfort. The patient can speak and respond to basic verbal cues, but will find it easy to rest and relax while the work is being done. A brief period of amnesia makes patients feel as though they are in a pleasant dream-like state. Just as with IV sedation, a dentist or qualified Registered Nurse will monitor your heart rate, blood pressure, breathing, oxygen levels, and alertness throughout the procedure. Occasional side effects may include fatigue, nausea, headache, or limited memory.
We will give you detailed instructions regarding preoperative protocol, but generally speaking you should:
Patients who were sedated with laughing gas can drive as little as 15 minutes following their procedure. With IV sedation and oral sedation, you will need someone to accompany you to your appointment to drive you back home. For most patients, the effects of oral sedation last two to four hours. With IV sedation, some mental fog may persist for up to 24 hours, so you should not drive or operate machinery for the rest of the day.
We recommend that you go home and take it easy, avoiding any strenuous activity. Eat a light diet such as toast, soup, Jello, and smoothies. Avoid heavy, greasy, fatty foods. You may feel a little dizzy or nauseous following sedation, so have carbonated beverages on hand to alleviate these symptoms. Avoid alcohol or un-prescribed medications for the next 24 hours. Watching television or a movie and sleeping will help take your mind off any residual discomfort you may feel.
In some cases – such as periodontal scaling or root planing of all four quadrants – your insurance may cover IV sedation. Most often, the patient picks up the bill, which is why it’s so important to visit a place like our Long Island Sedation Dentistry office, where we do everything in-house and do not call in an outside anesthesiologist, which adds the cost. We are happy to discuss all possible payment methods and help you find the most affordable sedation option.
Patients choose our Suffolk County cosmetic dentistry practice for the following reasons:
Call (631) 850-3145 to schedule a free consultation and learn more about sedation dentistry in Long Island.
Recent years have witnessed significant growth in the popularity of several dental sedation techniques. Sedation dentistry can help those with serious anxiety about dental procedures conquer their fear of the chair and get the treatment they need to maintain healthy teeth and gums.
At Long Island Implant and Cosmetic Dentistry in Suffolk County, Long Island, Dr. Nick & Dr. Elliot offer several sedation options well-suited for those who:
Dental offices nationwide have continued to embrace the use of sedation dentistry as a means to provide dental care to patients who would otherwise be reluctant to seek proper treatment. Dr. Joel Weaver of the American Dental Association has stated that the fear of dental procedures is so severe in certain individuals that they even attempt “to take their teeth out with pliers” and do everything possible to avoid an office visit.
Luckily, sedation can be customized to help during something as simple as a routine cleaning or as involved as periodontal surgery or the placement of dental implants.
Sedation dentistry patients at all levels are also typically given local anesthetic to numb the area the doctor will be treating. This added layer of reassurance is something many anxious patients value greatly.
Though anesthesia of any type always carries a certain degree of risk, when administered by skilled, highly trained practitioners, it is generally very safe.
It is important for certain types of patients, such as those with weight problems, kidney disease, liver trouble, heart disease, epilepsy or those suffering from obstructive sleep apnea to discuss their specific case with a physician in advance to avoid dangerous complications. Dentists experienced in the area of sedation dentistry will take a thorough medical history to discuss any medications currently being taking and to assess any other risk factors that could affect a patient’s candidacy for this type of treatment.
The increasing availability of sedation dentistry to patients everywhere is having an extremely positive impact on the number of “dentistry phobes” who are finally receiving the treatment they may have otherwise delayed or refused.
Dr. Nick and Dr. Elliott are committed to providing dental treatment experiences that are sensitive to the needs and concerns of each patient, no matter their level of anxiety. Fully certified by the State of New York in IV as well as PO sedation, the doctors of Long Island Implant and Cosmetic Dentistry possess the training and professional experience needed to perform sedation dentistry techniques safely and effectively in tandem with a wide range of office procedures.
To learn more about how sedation dentistry in our Suffolk County office, contact the Long Island Implant and Cosmetic Dentistry team at (631) 744-5700.
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“Have never had things explained as clearly and he has such a warm, personable manner. It was very refreshing.”
- Susan S.
"I needed work and had anxiety. The entire office made me feel welcome and as calm as I could get. I am almost finished and so happy with the people and the work done."
"As a resident of both New York City and Long Island I am so pleased to have discovered this practice. Up on all the latest dental procedures and techniques makes necessary treatment easy and well done!"
"I would recommend using Long Island Implant and Cosmetic Dentistry. They helped me change the way I look dramatically. Thanks so much!"