Are you avoiding the dentist even for routine checkups? You’re not alone. Dental anxiety prevents many people from taking care of their teeth and gums. But it’s not all about a straight, white smile. Proper dental hygiene is also an important part of your overall health care. A healthy mouth can reduce your risk of heart disease, diabetes, stroke, and premature or low-weight births.
Dr. Ramin Mahallati, DDS, at the Center for Implant & Esthetic Dentistry gets it. He cares deeply for his patients who’ve stayed away from the dentist chair out of fear and anxiety, and he offers them hope — sedation dentistry, a procedure that uses medication to help ease your nerves and help you relax.
Under his expert care, you’ll have a comfortable, pain-free dental experience for the first time in your life, and you’ll wonder why you haven’t tried sedation dentistry sooner.
Before opting for sedation dentistry, you should check with your primary care physician to make sure you have no health condition (such as obesity or obstructive sleep apnea) that might prevent you from undergoing any type of sedation or anesthesia. While all forms of anesthetic carry a low degree of risk, sedation dentistry is considered safe. Dr. Mahallati can administer certain types of sedation, and he partners with a state-certified anesthesiologist when necessary.
You may be a good candidate for sedation dentistry if you:
Children are also good candidates for sedation dentistry, as they often have a fear of the unknown and can be difficult to calm down.
Four levels of sedation dentistry
Depending on your dental needs and level of anxiety, Dr. Mahallati uses one of four types of sedation to help you relax.
The lowest level of sedation is nitrous oxide, sometimes called “laughing gas.” Dr. Mahallati places a small mask over your nose so you can naturally breathe in the medication. You’ll quickly feel yourself relax and release your fears. Dr. Mahallati carefully controls the dose you receive, so it only lasts as long as your dental visit. The effects wear off naturally and quickly.
If you need something a little stronger than nitrous oxide, Dr. Mahallati can prescribe Halcion®, which is a pill you take orally about an hour before your appointment. Depending on the dose, you could feel slightly drowsy or very groggy. Some people even fall asleep during their visit, and many have only a vague memory of the procedure. You should have someone drive you home after your appointment.
While the oral sedation is convenient and effective, Dr. Mahallati may want to have more control over your dosage and the duration of the effects, especially if your dental work requires a longer visit. In this case, his dental anesthesiologist gives you the medication through an IV and can monitor you through the procedure to keep you on the brink of consciousness, also known as “twilight sleep.” You won’t be able to drive yourself home after you’ve had IV anesthesia, so make arrangements for a ride.
The highest level of sedation available is general anesthesia, which is the same medication you would receive if you had surgery — that’s why Dr. Mahallati’s certified anesthesiologist administers the medication and stays by your side the whole time. You’ll be unconscious during your dental visit, and you won’t wake up easily when it’s over. The effects naturally wear off in time, but Dr. Mahallati may give you some medication to reverse the anesthesia and speed up the process.
Once you discover sedation therapy, you’ll be able to keep all your dental appointments without fear and know that you’re doing the right thing for your oral hygiene and overall health. Dr. Mahallati loves introducing new patients to the world of sedation dentistry and is ready to do the same for you. Give us a call or use our online booking feature to schedule your fear-free consultation today.