If you’ve ever breathed in nitrous oxide at a dentist’s office, then you’ve already experienced the benefits of sedation dentistry. Sedatives in the dentist’s office are much more commonplace than they used to be, but it’s important to do a little research before becoming a sedation dentistry patient. There are some surprising things you might learn. And remember to make sure you receive sedation dentistry from providers who are specially trained to administer it safely and effectively.
“Not all dentists are certified to administer sedatives and this can sometimes pose serious threats to the health of the patient,” says Dr. Elliot Koschitzki of Long Island Implant and Cosmetic Dentistry. He and his colleague, Dr. Nick Augenbaum, both hold New York State certification in IV and PO sedation.
The top surprising thing you probably didn’t know about sedation dentistry is that it doesn’t work like a painkiller. A sedative is administered to help a patient relax during a stressful procedure. Oral sedatives, for example, are primarily in the class of benzodiazepines, which are anti-anxiety drugs. But there’s no need to fret; in addition to administering a sedative, your dentist can still use topical and injected anesthetic to eliminate pain during the dental treatment.
Many people are surprised to learn that there are different types of sedation dentistry. More specifically, there are different levels of sedation. The lightest level is nitrous oxide, commonly referred to as laughing gas. This is the only level of sedation that allows you to drive yourself home after the appointment. The next level is conscious oral sedation, which involves taking an anti-anxiety drug by mouth. Aside from general anesthesia, which is not commonly used in dentist’s offices, the deepest level is intravenous (IV) sedation. This involves administering the drug via an IV line into a vein.
Sedation dentistry is an excellent way to convince people with dental anxieties to receive the routine oral care they need, but fear of the dentist’s office isn’t the only reason why you might consider sedation dentistry. Sitting still in the dentist’s chair for a long time can be difficult. If you need a particularly lengthy procedure done or multiple procedures done, the use of sedatives can be a lifesaver. Sedation dentistry can allow you to complete multiple treatments in the same visit. With a deeper level of sedation, the appointment will seem to pass by much faster than it ordinarily would. Plus, you’ll remain comfortable throughout the procedure.
Sedation dentistry may also be appropriate for some children and adults with special needs. Individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs), for example, often have significant trouble lying on a dentist’s chair and coping with the loud noises and bright lights. Sedation dentistry can eliminate these challenges.
If you have dental anxieties or simply desire a relaxing oral care experience, you can put your trust in the cosmetic dentists of Long Island Implant and Cosmetic Dentistry. Dr. Nick and Dr. Elliot are pleased to offer free consultations to patients who are interested in receiving conscious oral sedation, nitrous oxide sedation, or intravenous sedation during their dental procedures. Give us a call today at (631) 850-3145 with any questions you may have.
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