Sedation Dentistry

All of the amazing advances in dentistry can’t do a thing for you if you don’t go to the dentist. At Dental Associates of Delaware, where we provide high quality general, preventative and cosmetic dentistry, we know that even the gentlest treatments can be stressful, so we also offer different levels of Sedation Dentistry. Anesthesia can eliminate pain for most people, but sometimes that’s not enough. Sedation dentistry uses medications to relax patients. Whether you are in need of a filling, dental implants, veneers, or any of our other services, we can make sure that your dental experience is comfortable and stress free.

Are You A Candidate For Sedation Dentistry?

Join the millions of people just like you and experience an anxiety free dental visit where you are in a relaxed state, where dentistry can be accomplished in as little as one visit and in the most comfortable way possible. The Dentists at Dental Associates of Delaware can help make anxious or nervous patients have a calm, comfortable experience – often with no recollection of the time passed.

Are you…

  • Delaying treatment you need or want due to dental fears and anxiety?
  • Scared, even terrified, to pick up the phone to schedule?
  • Looking to smile again with confidence?
  • Overwhelmed by thoughts of repeated visits to the dentist?

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 need large amounts of dental work.

Levels of Sedation

Our dentists only want you sedated enough to make you relaxed, and let you have a comfortable experience. That is why we offer several levels of sedation:

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

NITROUS OXIDE

Nitrous Oxide Sedation is a very effective way for our dentists to help you stay relaxed and comfortable during a dental procedure. It is a very light form of sedation, which works fast and wears off quickly.

What is Nitrous Oxide Sedation?

Nitrous oxide, often called “laughing gas” is a colorless gas that our dentists can give you to help you relax. It is very safe when professionally administered, and it works extremely well to reduce the anxieties in many dental patients. Approximately one-third of all dentists use nitrous oxide in their offices. It is often used to sedate a patient for a short period of time, or in conjunction with another sedation medication.

Is Nitrous Oxide Sedation for me?

Our dentists have been trained on exactly when and how to administer nitrous oxide, so feel free to ask if it is right for your situation. They want you to be sedated only as much as necessary, but there are other methods of conscious sedation available if nitrous oxide is not enough for you to feel comfortable. In general, it delivers a very good, light sedation for patients who have some minor discomfort with dental visits, especially during some more invasive procedures. Very often it is used for a short period of time when they are drilling or pulling a tooth and think sedation would make things less stressful for you. Sometimes it is used in conjunction with other sedatives to keep patients very relaxed and totally comfortable.

What can I expect from Nitrous Oxide Sedation?

Our dentists administer sedation either through a mask that covers your mouth and nose or a small tube called a cannula under your nostrils to give you a mixture of oxygen and nitrous oxide. It usually takes effect very quickly, and lasts for as long as it is 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 off, patients usually feel normal again very quickly, and can almost always drive themselves home after the appointment.

Is Nitrous Oxide Sedation safe?

Yes, it is extremely safe when given by a medical professional like our dentists. Nitrous oxide is one of the safest medications available. While most people have no negative reaction to relatively short periods of time on nitrous oxide, it does make a small percentage of people feel nauseated. Our dentists have been trained how to best deliver nitrous oxide, and will have you under close supervision for the duration of the procedure.

ORAL SEDATION

Oral sedation is a wonderful option for patients who need more than just nitrous oxide, but don’t need or want IV Sedation or general anesthesia. It allows many people to be comfortably sedated through an entire dental visit using just a small pill.

What is Oral Sedation?

Oral sedation is a method of conscious sedation where the dentist uses oral medication to sedate a patient. Most healthy adults are good candidates for oral sedation. For some, comfortable dentistry is as simple as taking one small pill.

What is Conscious Sedation?

Conscious sedation is modern dentistry that lets even the most high fear patient have a relaxing and comfortable dental visit. Since the patient is comfortable, our dentists are able to accomplish the work of several appointments in just one. There are a number of conscious sedation techniques, but they all have certain things in common. While the goal of general anesthesia is for the patient to sleep, in dentistry it is much more common to use conscious sedation, where the patient is sedated and comfortable, yet still awake. When they use conscious sedation, you don’t really fall asleep, even though sometimes it feels like you did. That’s because sedation feels so relaxing and peaceful that the patient doesn’t even notice the passing of time. Many of the medications used in conscious sedation have an amnesiac effect as well, leaving patients with little or no memory of the sights, smells or sounds of the dental appointment.

Is Oral Sedation for me?

Oral sedation is wonderful and incredibly effective for most healthy adults. For many, it is the answer they have been looking for all their life. Discuss sedation with our dentists if any of the following sounds like you:

  • You are uncomfortable in the dentist's office
  • You are too scared to even call the dentist and make an appointment
  • You can’t stand the smell and sounds of the dentist's office
  • You are delaying treatment you know you need
  • You are in pain when you eat, but too anxious about the dentist to take care of it
  • You are unable to find a dentist that you feel you can trust
  • You have trouble getting numb - the anesthetic doesn’t seem to work on you
  • You are afraid to smile
  • You are concerned about how many dental appointments you know you’ll need
  • You are looking for a way to have the work of several appointments completed in just one or two
  • You remember bad experiences with a dentist in your past
  • You have sensitive teeth
  • You have a strong gag reflex, especially when the dentist is working in your mouth
  • You have trouble with jaw soreness when you have to keep your mouth open
  • You have back or neck pain when you sit in a dental chair
  • You are afraid of needles

How Oral Sedation Works

There are many different medications and sedation techniques, so it is best to get specifics from our dentists. We will make you an appointment to meet with the Doctor and his team so that they can gather information regarding your health to make sure you are a candidate. They will discuss with you your wants and desires for dental treatment. Prior to your procedure, you may be given a prescription for an oral sedative to take the night before. It will guarantee a good night's sleep and make sure you wake up relaxed.

When you arrive for treatment, an oral medication will be provided to you in the office to create the ultimate in relaxation. Our dentist would begin monitoring your vital signs, including your heart rate and blood pressure, to make sure that you stay completely safe through the procedure. They would then assess your level of sedation, and ask how you feel. In some circumstances, they may use more medication, but often this is unnecessary. The dentistry will all be performed while you are relaxed and totally comfortable. Due to the amnesic effect that oral sedation medications have, you will have very little, if any, memory of the sights, smells or sounds of your visit. Most patients feel no discomfort or residual effects from the dental visit.

You will need a companion to bring you to and from the appointment. When it is safe for you to travel, your companion will take you home, and then you will rest comfortably for the rest of the day. They will need to stay with you after you arrive home until you are completely recovered from your oral sedation medication, usually within 24 hours.

Is Oral Sedation safe?

While all methods of sedation are very safe, the history of oral sedation has been especially safe as well as very effective. Our dentists use very common medications that are extremely safe and widely prescribed. Your vital signs will be constantly monitored from the moment you arrive at the office through the appointment, and until they are certain you are ready to leave. In fact, our dentists and the whole dental team are highly trained in safety and emergency procedures, making the dentist office one of the safest places you can be!

INTRAVENOUS (IV) SEDATION, Also known as Sleep Dentistry

IV sedation is a technique used by an anesthesiologist or specially trained dentist to keep patients comfortably sedated through an entire appointment. Unlike general anesthesia, which also is delivered intravenously, intravenous sedation is a form of conscious sedation where the patient is never completely asleep. Dental Associates of Delaware uses the services of anesthesiologists from Mobile Anesthesia Service Concepts, LLC.

What is IV Sedation?

IV sedation is a form of conscious sedation where an IV line is placed in your arm or hand to administer the sedative drugs.

What is Conscious Sedation?

Conscious sedation is modern dentistry that lets even the most high fear patient have a relaxing and comfortable dental visit. Since the patient is comfortable, our dentists are able to accomplish the work of several appointments in just one. There are a number of conscious sedation techniques, but they all have certain things in common. While the goal of general anesthesia is for the patient to sleep, in dentistry it is much more common to use conscious sedation, where the patient is sedated and comfortable, yet still awake. When conscious sedation is used, you don’t really fall asleep, even though sometimes it feels like you did. That’s because sedation feels so relaxing and peaceful that the patient doesn’t even notice the passing of time. Many of the medications used in conscious sedation have an amnesiac effect as well, leaving patients with little or no memory of their dental appointment, and further adding to the feeling that the patient was asleep.

Is IV Sedation for me?

IV sedation is wonderful and incredibly effective for most healthy adults. For many, it is the answer they have been looking for all their life. Discuss sedation with our dentists if any of the following sound like you:

  • You are uncomfortable in a dentists’ office
  • You are too scared to even call the dentist and make an appointment
  • You can’t stand the smell and sounds of a dentist office
  • You are delaying treatment you know you need
  • You are in pain when you eat, but too anxious about the dentist to take care of it
  • You are unable to find a dentist that you feel you can trust
  • You have trouble getting numb - the anesthetic doesn’t seem to work on you
  • You are afraid to smile
  • You are concerned about how many dental appointments you know you’ll need
  • You are looking for a way to have the work of several appointments done in just one or two
  • You remember bad experiences with a dentist in your past
  • You have sensitive teeth
  • You have a strong gag reflex, especially when the dentist is working in your mouth
  • You have trouble with jaw soreness when you have to keep your mouth open
  • You have back or neck pain when you sit in a dental chair
  • You have sensitive teeth

What can I expect from IV Sedation?

There are many different medications and sedation techniques, so it is best to get specifics from our dentists. Since you will be receiving sedative medication, you will need a companion to drive you to the appointment. When you arrive for treatment, you will meet with the anesthesiologist and the dentist. Your medical history will be discussed. The anesthesiologist would begin by monitoring your vital signs, including your heart rate and blood pressure, to make sure that you stay completely safe through the procedure. If you are concerned about getting a needle, they have techniques to make you comfortable before the IV is started. The dentistry will all be performed while you are relaxed and totally comfortable. When it is safe for you to travel, 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 have completely recovered from the sedation, usually within 24 hours.

Is IV Sedation Safe?

IV sedation is very safe as well as effective. Your vital signs will be constantly monitored from the moment you arrive at the office through the appointment, and until they are certain you are ready to leave. In fact, our dentists and the whole dental team, along with the anesthesiologist are highly trained in safety and emergency procedures, making the dentist office one of the safest places you can be!

Contact Our Wilmington, Middletown Or Hockessin Office

We strive to provide a comfortable and relaxing environment for all of our patients, but we completely understand that some of our patients are still nervous about having their teeth worked on, so we are happy to provide an anxiety free solution. If you have questions about sedation dentistry or would like to schedule an appointment, please contact our Wilmington office, our Middletown office or our Hockessin office.