St. Anthony Park Dental Care is pleased to be able to offer sedation dentistry options for our patients who suffer from anxiety or dental phobia. You are in good hands with our experienced and caring team. At Saint Anthony Park Dental Care, patient safety and health is our first and primary goal.
Three forms of sedation are provided at Saint Anthony Park Dental Care:
- Nitrous oxide, or laughing gas, works well in certain patients, especially children, to shorten how long an appointment feels and helps the patient be more relaxed. It is extremely safe and the patient will be able to drive home immediately after the appointment due to its rapid onset and exit from the body.
- Oral sedation, in the form of a benzodiazepine pill, helps relieve patients’ anxiety and helps them relax. A carefully calculated dose in liquid form can be prescribed for children that have difficult procedures or are somewhat anxious about the dentist, whereas a pill can be prescribed for adults.
IV means intravenous and allows medication to be administered through your veins so that it takes effect rapidly by acting through the bloodstream. Many patients prefer this option of sedation because of its rapid effect. The IV line is placed into a vein with a small needle in either the top of your hand, forearm or inner part of your arm by your elbow. Most consider it to be equivalent to or less invasive than getting your blood drawn. If you are anxious about needles, you can receive laughing gas to help your relax during placement of the IV-line.
IV sedation is meant to reduce pain and anxiety. The drugs provided via the IV-line help you relax and can also make you forget some, most, or all of the procedure. While you will likely close your eyes and may be in a sleep like state, you will not be totally unconscious during your appointment. You will be able to follow directions and respond when the dentist speaks to you, however you will not care very much nor feel as much pain.
The dental team will be able to provide more dental treatment in less time at a higher quality because you will not be concerned with the procedure and will be more relaxed. Most patients are less aware of the common dental office smells, sounds or sights. Many patients state that they remember very little of the actual appointment and dental procedure. Even the few that do remember it state that they were very relaxed and better able to complete treatment because of the IV-sedation.
IV sedation can benefit you if you:
- are anxious about being at the dentist
- have difficulty sitting still in the dental chair for longer procedures
- have a sensitive gag reflex
- have multiple longer treatments that need to be completed and you want to get them done in fewer appointments
- have a more difficult dental procedure that needs to be done such as certain implant procedures, or extraction of wisdom teeth
At Saint Anthony Park Dental Care, patient safety and health is our first and primary goal.
Not every patient is a good candidate for sedation.
Oral or IV-sedation administration require an initial standard consultation with the dentist to review your health history, evaluate your dental needs, explain the procedure/options, review the consent forms, and answer any questions you may have. It is important to bring a list of or know all of the medications you are taking so that the dental team can evaluate for any possible interactions with the sedation drugs. Any drug allergies/interactions will also be reviewed and documented.
At the time of your appointment, we will review your treatment plan, consent forms, and reassess anew your ability that day to undergo sedation. You will be closely monitored throughout your sedation procedure to assess your condition, with monitoring devices used, as appropriate, to track your blood pressure, heart rate and rhythm (ECG), oxygen level in your blood stream, pulse, and the effectiveness of your breathing (end tidal CO2 and number of breaths per minute). You will be accompanied at all times by a member of our dental team to ensure your comfort and monitor your condition.
IV-sedation has its own precautions for patients to take, and the instructions will be discussed with and provided to you. These include:
- no eating or drinking for 8 hours prior to the sedation, other than a small sip of water to take daily pills/medications, unless directed to NOT do so by your physician or dentist
- an escort MUST accompany you to your appointment at the office, drive you home afterward, and stay with you until the effects of the drugs fully wear off
- recovery time is varied due to individual patient differences, with most people fully recovered within 2-6 hours, however, you should NOT operate heavy machinery or drive for 24 hours after your appointment is completed
- patients are encouraged to dress in comfortable, loose clothing, preferably with a short sleeve shirt to allow for easy IV-access
Each patient’s insurance plan will need to be checked individually for coverage due to dental insurance plan management complexities. In general, most dental insurance plans DO cover part or some of the cost of sedation or IV-sedation depending upon the procedure and insurance provider. Our front desk staff will submit to your insurance company for an estimate of benefits coverage after your initial consultation. This will provide a detailed estimate of the coverage provided by insurance and what is the sole responsibility of the patient