Sedation Dentistry

Relax During Your Dental Procedures With Our Sedation Dentistry Services

At Dental Associates of Delaware, we’re proud to provide a wide range of general, preventative, and cosmetic dentistry services to families throughout the Wilmington, Hockessin, and Middletown, DE areas. Our dentists and staff understand that some people avoid seeing the dentist because they’re nervous, anxious or fearful. That’s why we offer sedation dentistry to our patients who need more than pain-eliminating anesthesia.

If you have dental anxiety or fear that’s stopping you from seeing a dentist, our sedation dentistry services can help you calmly and comfortably receive the dental treatment you need to achieve and maintain optimal dental health. Whether you need dental implants to replace missing teeth or periodontal care to improve the health of your gums, we can provide you with the right type of sedation that will make your dental visits comfortable and stress-free.

Is Sedation Dentistry Right for You?

Our compassionate dentists can help our anxious or nervous patients relax so they can receive the dental care they need and often with no recollection of the time passed. Sedation dentistry may be a good option for you if:

  • You’ve been avoiding seeing a dentist due to fear, nervousness or anxiety
  • The thought of even picking up the phone to schedule a dental appointment frightens you
  • You feel overwhelmed by the idea of needing repeat visits to the dentist
  • You’d like to enjoy all the benefits that come with having a healthy and attractive smile for better self-confidence

Sedation dentistry is also great for people who have a low tolerance to pain, extremely sensitive teeth, a strong gag reflex, difficulty getting numb or for those needing extensive dental work.

Levels of Sedation

Our dentists strive to only sedate you long enough to make you relaxed, so you have a pain-free and comfortable experience. That is why we offer several levels of sedation:

  • Nitrous Oxide
  • Oral Sedation
  • Intravenous (IV) Sedation, also known as Sleep Dentistry

Nitrous Oxide

Nitrous oxide or laughing gas as it’s also called is a colorless gas that is inhaled to provide a feeling of relaxation and even mild euphoria. It is very safe and works extremely well in reducing anxiety. Nitrous oxide is often used for patients who have some minor discomfort with dental visits and especially for visits requiring more invasive procedures. It is often used for a short period of time to reduce stress and anxiety. It can also be used in conjunction with other sedatives to keep patients very relaxed and comfortable.

Nitrous oxide may be the right type of sedation dentistry for you if need a procedure done like a filling or extraction and want to feel completely relaxed and stress-free for the entire appointment.

What to Expect from Nitrous Oxide Sedation

We administer this sedation either through a mask that covers your mouth and nose or a small tube placed under your nostrils to give you a mixture of oxygen and nitrous oxide. It takes effect rapidly and lasts for as long as it’s kept on. During the procedure, you will feel extremely relaxed, with a sensation that has been described as “dreamy”, but you will remain awake. Once the nitrous oxide is turned off, you will feel normal again very quickly and will most likely be able to drive yourself home after your appointment.

Is Nitrous Oxide Sedation Safe?

Yes. It is extremely safe and one of the safest medications available. While most people have no negative reaction to nitrous oxide, it does make a small percentage of people feel nauseated. Our dentists are fully trained in administering nitrous oxide and we will have you under close observation for the duration of the procedure.

Oral Sedation

Oral sedation is a method of conscious sedation that makes use of oral medications to sedate patients, which can be as simple as taking one pill. When you’re given oral sedation, you will be sedated and comfortable, but still awake. This sedation is so relaxing and peaceful that you may not even notice the passing of time. This is because many of the medications used with oral sedation have an amnesic effect, which leaves patients with little or no memory of the sights, sounds or smells of the dental appointment. You may even feel like you’ve been asleep during the procedure, even though you were awake.

Oral sedation may be the right sedation dentistry option you if you’ve been putting off getting the dental treatment you need because you feel very uncomfortable, scared or nervous about seeing a dentist. This sedation may also be the right solution for you if you are afraid of needles as no needles are used.

What to Expect from Oral Sedation

Will will schedule an appointment for you so you can meet with your dentist and his/her team. During this visit, we’ll gather information regarding your health to make sure you’re a good candidate. Prior to your procedure, you may be given a prescription for an oral sedative to take the night before. It will ensure that you get a good night’s sleep and wake up relaxed.

When you arrive for your treatment, we will provide you with an oral medication. Our team will then begin monitoring your vital signs, including your heart rate and blood pressure to make sure you stay completely safe throughout the procedure. We will then assess your level of sedation and ask you how you feel. If need be, you may be given more medication, although this is often unnecessary.

Your dentist will perform the procedure while you feel relaxed and comfortable. Due to the amnesic effect of the oral sedation medications, you will have very little if any, recollection of what went on during your procedure.

You will need a companion to bring you to and from the appointment. When it is safe for you to leave our office, your companion will take you home, where you’ll rest comfortably for the rest of the day. They will need to stay with you once you’ve arrived home until you’re completely recovered from your oral sedation medication, which typically occurs within 24 hours.

Is Oral Sedation Safe?

Yes. Oral sedation is very safe and effective. We use very common medications that are widely prescribed and extremely safe. Your vital signs will be constantly monitored for the entire appointment until you are ready to leave our office. All of our dentists and staff are highly trained in safety and emergency procedures, to make our Middletown, Hockessin, and Wilmington dentist offices very safe places to spend time in!

Intravenous (IV) Sedation

Intravenous sedation or IV sedation as it’s also called is a form of conscious sedation administered by an anesthesiologist or specially trained dentist to keep patients comfortably sedated through an entire appointment. This sedation involves placing an IV line in your arm or hand to administer the sedative drugs. Dental Associates of Delaware use the services of anesthesiologists from Mobile Anesthesia Service Concepts, LLC. IV sedation is a good option for patients with extreme dental anxiety where even the idea of visiting the dentist raises levels of stress, fear, and nervousness.

When you are given IV sedation, you are never completely asleep. You will remain conscious during the procedure and will be able to understand and respond to requests from your dentist. However, you won’t remember much or anything at all about what went on as the medications used with this sedation produces an amnesic effect.

IV sedation is a lot like oral sedation, but because it’s delivered intravenously, your dentist and anesthesiologist can closely control your level of sedation to make sure that you’re completely comfortable at all times.

IV sedation may be the right sedation dentistry option for you if you’ve been delaying getting the dental treatment you need due to extreme fear or anxiety. It is also a good option to consider if you need an extensive amount of dental work done or if you’ve been experiencing tooth pain but are simply too anxious about the dentist to take care of that pain.

What to Expect from IV Sedation

Since you will be receiving sedative medication, you will need a companion to drive you to and from your appointment. When you arrive for treatment, you will meet with the anesthesiologist and your dentist. Once your medical history has been discussed, the anesthesiologist will begin monitoring your vital signs, including your heart rate and blood pressure to make sure you stay completely safe throughout the procedure.

If you are concerned about getting a needle, we have techniques available to make you comfortable before the IV is started. Once you are relaxed and comfortable, your dentist will provide you with the procedure. When it’s safe for you to leave our office, your companion will take you home, where you will rest comfortably for the rest of the day. Your companion will need to stay with you until you’ve completely recovered from the sedation, which typically occurs within 24 hours.

Is IV Sedation Safe?

Yes. IV sedation is very safe and effective. Your vital signs will be constantly monitored for the entire appointment, up until the time it’s safe for you to leave. Our dentists and staff along with the anesthesiologist are highly trained in safety and emergency procedures to make our office a very safe place to be!

Contact Us In Wilmington, Middletown or Hockessin for Sedation Dentistry

At Dental Associates of Delaware, we never want fear, anxiety or nervousness to stop you from receiving the dental care you need. If you have any questions about sedation dentistry or would like to schedule an appointment, please contact our Wilmington office, our Middletown office or Hockessin office. We look forward to hearing from you soon!