Sedation Dentistry Can Bring Peace of Mind
Many people are gripped with anxiety when they think of going to the dentist. For a significant number, their fear of dental treatment is so bad that they delay getting necessary treatment; or they avoid the dentist altogether. If this sounds familiar, you should know about sedation dentistry. In Greenwood, IN, Dr. Matthew Walton offers several options for sedation so that you can be relaxed and comfortable throughout your appointment. Sedation dentistry refers to medication administered before or during treatment that allows you to feel calm. Our team is very experienced with providing this helpful service so that you can get the care you need. To learn more, contact us and schedule an appointment today.
Dr. Walton Explains Sedation Dentistry Options:
Sedation dentistry makes long or more difficult procedures seem shorter, allowing you to have all or a large part of your work done in a single visit.
Options for Sedation
The sedation that Dr. Walton uses to help relax his patients is both safe and effective. The type of sedation that is recommended will be based on your anxiety level, length of your appointment, and type of procedure you are undergoing. Dr. Walton is specially trained (Indiana University and UCLA) in sedation dentistry and is one of only a few dentists licensed in Indiana to administer IV sedation (the majority of dentists administer pill-only sedation).
Safe and easy to administer. It’s out of your system immediately and you can drive after using it. Works very well for mild anxiety to take the edge off. It has a very long safety record. Relatively cheap to administer. Also called laughing gas, this type of sedation is a mixture of nitrous oxide and oxygen. This mild sedative has been used for many years in dental offices and hospitals and is appropriate for all ages of patients, from the very young to the elderly. It is administered from a canister by a tube and a small mask. You will feel relaxed, but remain alert. Once the inhalation of the gas stops, the anesthetic effects end quickly.
This would typically be pills taken prior to your procedure. These pills are in the family of medicine called benzodiazepines. Examples would include valium, xanax and halcion.
Pros: Relatively safe, and fairly easy to administer. You typically don’t want to drive after taking these. For many people, they work well for minor procedures. Relatively cheap to administer.
Cons: However, with more in depth procedures or even longer procedures, the pills have some limitations. One of the biggest limitations of the pills is that the pills get metabolized or broken down in your stomach and liver, which not only takes a longer time to take effect, but more importantly, only leaves only part of the active ingredient left to work on your brain for the sedative effect. So for some people, they may require more pills. The problem is, it is hard to measure or titrate just how much the effective dose will with the pills, and it can become unsafe at a certain point, or just not even effective.
Oral sedation refers to a group of pill-form sedatives called benzodiazepines that can have mild or moderate sedative effect depending on the dosage. Dr. Walton selects the appropriate medication, and you simply take a pill prior to your procedure. You will feel very relaxed and drowsy and may fall asleep, but are easily awakened. You will more than likely have a limited memory of the procedure, and effects of the medication may last for a few hours.
This is where the sedative medications are injected directly into your blood stream.
Pros: The medicine takes effect almost instantly. We can also measure or titrate the medicine to reach the effective dose quickly and safely. If the medicine is wearing off, we can administer a variety of medicines through the IV line to help ease the sedation. This is not possible with giving someone pills. Furthermore, we can administer reversal agents to counteract any medicines, if need be. This is very important from a safety standpoint.
Cons: You still have to have someone drive you to and from the appointment and stay with you afterwards. You will likely sleep for several hours afterwards. There is also more cost involved with the iv sedation.
The benefit of intravenous (IV) sedation is that the level of medication can be adjusted during your procedure to ensure maximum comfort. Dr. Walton will administer medication directly into your blood stream (unlike pills), ensuring that the drugs work quickly and effectively. You may sleep through much of the procedure, but you will be able to be awakened easily and will remain in a state of relaxation. It is very likely that you will not remember much of your procedure afterwards. You will be completely relaxed and comfortable, since IV sedation eliminates both anxiety and pain. Dr. Walton can accomplish more extensive treatment when patients receive this type of sedation because it relaxes the jaw and facial muscles. For this reason, it is also a good option for patients with a sensitive gag reflex.
How Sedation Dentistry Can Benefit You
Sedation dentistry is a wonderful tool that can allow you to get the treatment you want and need. Patients who have dental anxiety or phobia can fall into a spiral in which they avoid routine and necessary dental care, which makes their oral health worse, and leads to even more avoidance. This is completely unnecessary with safe, modern, and trusted dental sedation techniques. Millions of patients have gotten their care comfortable, even after years of suffering, and so can you.
Dr. Walton and his entire staff want to help you achieve the best oral health possible. To learn more about sedation dentistry, or to schedule an appointment, please contact us today.
Service areas include: Greenwood, Indianapolis, Martinsville, New Whiteland, Beech Grove, Southport, Bargersville & Franklin, Indiana.
Dr. Walton is worth the short drive and has many patients from Mooresville, Carmel, Westfield, Plainfield, Zionsville, Center Valley & Speedway, Indiana.