Many patients have some degree of anxiety when it comes to receiving dental treatment. There are a number of different methods of sedating a patient so that he or she is more comfortable in the dental office, including oral conscious sedation and nitrous oxide sedation. Cosmetic dentist Edward Shukovsky, DMD offers sedation dentistry to his patients, for a calmer, more pleasant dental experience.
Dr. Shukovsky is an active member of the Dental Organization for Conscious Sedation, or DOCS. This organization is at the forefront of safe, easily-administered inhalation (nitrous oxide, aka “laughing gas”) and oral conscious sedation. Dr. Shukovsky has taken additional training and is certified in Advanced Cardiac Life Support, ACLS, which further assures the safe administration of sedation. To learn more about sedation dentistry, contact our practice today.
Candidates for Sedation Dentistry
Some patients have such a powerful fear of dental procedures that going to the dentist for necessary work becomes seriously delayed or does not happen at all. There is no one demographic that fits this population. High anxiety may be caused by claustrophobia or an early childhood experience; however, sometimes, there is no known explanation for the fear. Some of these patients have a grave fear of just walking into a dental office and seeing the hygienist for care. Yes, a cleaning, X-rays, and examination with a hygienist can feel like climbing Mt. Everest or jumping out of an airplane for some! Whether it’s a rational fear or irrational fear, it does not matter. By getting sedation for dental care, these patients get their needed treatment in a safe, comfortable environment.
Dr. Shukovsky’s Story
Recently I treated a woman that has been a patient of mine for sixteen years, yet I had never had the opportunity to work on her since there was no need for any dental care except for her dental cleanings by my hygienist and my routine examinations. On her last hygiene appointment, however, she asked me to replace her front bridge that was breaking down and was becoming unsightly. When I said there was no problem with replacing this bridge, that it would take two appointments and she could set these appointments up whenever it was convenient for her, I was very surprised when she stated that she was ‘scared to death.’ I have known this patient for sixteen years, never thinking that she had this extremely deep fear of getting dental work!She and I reviewed her medical history, her concerns, and we discussed what type of sedation would fit for her dental care. We decided that oral conscious sedation was the best way to go considering her needs. The sedation and dental procedures went extremely well, but the best part was when she told me the next day how comfortable it went. She hardly remembered the dental visit! She could not thank me enough for making a truly frightening and threatening procedure easy.When I first got into dental sedation I thought, ‘do my patients really need this type of adjudicative treatment?’ After all, I give a painless injection of local anesthetic. But I have since realized that there is a patient population that has many different types of fears and dental sedation has become a lifesaver for them. We can now turn a difficult experience into a pleasurable experience. And that is cool!
How Sedation Dentistry Works
Sedation is an art, as much as any other procedure. It involves knowing what would be the optimal medication or medications for the given situation, and the dosages of those medications for that particular patient. We want to keep the patient in the most comfortable state possible with the least amount of drug. Sedation is different than general anesthesia in that it simply eliminates anxiety. It is a light sedation, also known as conscious sedation. The patient can hear, speak, and breathe on his or her own, but does not care about what is going on. We can do our dental work while the patient is relaxed and anxiety free.
During sedation the patient is continuously monitored for pulse, blood pressure, and oxygen desaturation. In addition, the patient is evaluated for awareness and comfort throughout the procedure.
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Learn More about Sedation Dentistry
For certain patients, sedation is absolutely necessary in order for their dental work to be completed. We are available to discuss making your dental visits and treatments as comfortable and anxiety-free as possible. Contact our office today for more information about sedation dentistry.