Experiencing anxiety at the thought of a dental appointment is sediment shared by millions of people. Often this fear leads to individuals not seeking the dental treatment they need which leads to more extensive dental problems down the road. When someone is sedated and relaxed it is possible to complete a large amount of complex dental treatment during a single visit to the dentist.
Sedation dentistry is a method of managing pain and anxiety during dental appointments. It is as a minimally depressed level of consciousness that retains the patient's ability to independently and continuously maintain an airway and respond appropriately to physical stimulation and verbal command. Unlike General Anesthesia where a patient is completely unconscious, asleep, and unable to respond, patients under Conscious Sedation, are able to respond to commands and breath on their own. Sedation dentistry is incredibly safe and all body functions remain normal during treatment. The treatment involves taking several pills in succession in conjunction with the administration of nitrous oxide. The patient will often fall asleep and some degree of amnesia is common. Vital signs are continuously monitored throughout the procedure to assure safety.
If you exhibit any of the following characteristics, sedation dentistry may be for you:
• Fear, stress, and anxiety about going to the dentist
• You have difficulty becoming numb
• A history of bad dental experiences
• You are troubled with a gag reflex
• You need complex treatment requiring long dental appointments
• You require wisdom tooth extraction
Dr. Hoffman has taken extensive continuing education coursework in sedation dentistry and is certified by the Dental Organization for Conscious Sedation.