Do you or a loved one have dental fear or anxiety? We can help. Dr. Catherine Wilder and Dr. Lauren Shepard offer sedation dentistry at Katy Smile Design in Katy, TX. Dental sedation is a part of general dentistry, often used for complex or surgical procedures. However, sedation may also be used to calm anxious or fearful patients about visiting the dentist.
Dr. Wilder and Dr. Shepard take a compassionate approach to treating their patients. This approach and dental sedation make it easier for patients to get their needed care.
Benefits of Sedation Dentistry
- Offers painless treatment
- Allows dentists to provide faster care
- Is a safe and approved treatment method
- Requires fewer dental appointments for patients
- Helps ease patients fear and anxiety
If you or a loved one suffer from dental fear or anxiety, contact Katy Smile Design so we can accommodate your needs. We want our office to be a space where everyone can feel comfortable and welcomed.
Types of Dental Sedation
There are three main types of sedation dentistry:
- Nitrous Oxide: Nitrous oxide, or laughing gas, delivers a mild sedative through a mask or cannula placed under the nose. This type of sedation calms and relaxes patients for their procedures. Patients can drive themselves to and from appointments because nitrous oxide wears off after removing the mask.
- Oral Conscious Sedation: Patients are conscious yet comfortable under this sedation method. Patients will also not remember their procedure. However, patients need to be driven to and from their appointment as it takes a while for oral conscious sedation to wear off.
- IV Sedation: Intravenous sedation delivers anti-anxiety medication into the bloodstream. Patients often feel sleepy under IV sedation several moments after it is administered.
Who Benefits From Sedation Dentistry?
Typically, sedation is known as a treatment option for patients who have dental anxiety. Dental fear occurs on a spectrum. Some patients are only triggered by certain sounds or machines in the dentist office. Others have such bad anxiety that they can’t even step inside the office to get regular dental care. We carry a variety of sedation options to ensure all patients on the dental fear spectrum can get the care they need.
But patients with dental fear aren’t the only ones who benefit from sedation dentistry. Sedation also benefits patients who have to get multiple procedures done at once. Patients afraid of the dentist often don’t stay current on their oral care. This leads to a need for more intensive work and longer treatment times. This is also true for patients who have neglected their oral care and need more serious procedures.
Safe oral care can be difficult for patients with special needs or movement disorders. Involuntary movements can make it hard for the dentist because dentistry is extremely precise. If a movement messes them up, instruments can enter places they’re not intended to go. This is also true for children who have difficulty sitting still or need more extensive work. Sedation relaxes these involuntary movements so care can be given safely.
Gag reflexes make care uncomfortable for patients. Essentially, your body is fighting the dentist while they’re trying to treat you. It’s hard for them to do their work as well. Sedation can also calm this reflex, making care easier and more comfortable.
Sedation Dentistry FAQs
Do you have questions about dental sedation? Read answers to commonly asked sedation questions from our patients:
Can I go to work after dental sedation?
If you receive nitrous oxide, you can resume your regular activities when you leave the dental office. However, you must wait at least a full day before going back to work or school if you’ve taken oral or intravenous sedatives. These can hold effect for much longer. Wait a full day before returning to any activities.
What are the side effects of dental sedation?
The negative effects of oral sedation are mild. Drowsiness, dry mouth, headache, fogginess, or memory loss are possible side effects. For most people, the advantages of oral sedation dentistry outweigh these modest adverse effects. Side effects from sedation often go away within a few hours.
What is the safest dental sedation?
For most patients, nitrous oxide is generally regarded as the safest anesthetic. Oral sedation, which is made up of anti-anxiety medicine, is also completely harmless. In general, semi-consciousness, IV, or sleep sedation carries the greatest risk. However, the risk of any true danger is very small.
Can I brush my teeth before sedation?
Yes. Brushing your teeth is acceptable before sedation. You can also rinse your mouth with a little water. However, it is crucial that you do not swallow water. Your stomach must be empty for sedation to take effect safely.
How long does it take to recover from dental sedation?
When we decide that the patient can leave the dental office after sedation, it usually takes 3–4 hours to recover from the anesthetic fully. We recommend that patients go home and rest after their procedure.
How many hours before sedation can you eat?
We recommend avoiding eating for at least six hours before the procedure. Do not eat after midnight the night before your procedure. If you are receiving IV sedation, it is ideal for your stomach to be empty. Also, avoid drinking alcohol at least 24 hours before your procedure.
Contact Our Dental Office Today
Ask us about relaxing sedation dentistry in Katy, TX. Request a dental consultation with Dr. Wilder and Dr. Shepard on our website. You may also contact our office at 281.843.9814. Let our team know if you have any remaining questions about sedation dentistry. We will be happy to help you.