Sedation Dentists in Lilburn GA
Millions of people don’t get the proper dental care because they’re afraid to go to the dentist. Conscious sedation can help even the worst dental phobics get dental treatment done in an extremely relaxed state making the procedure as comfortable as possible. Conscious sedation can be done by inhaling nitrous oxide, orally with pills or through an IV. Dr. Richard Gangwisch is certified to by the state of Georgia to perform IV sedation and he’s been sedating patients for decades. Fear of the dentist is a very common problem. Most of the apprehension comes from the anticipation of the patient to the upcoming dental procedure. Almost all dental treatment can be performed without any pain at all thanks to good local anesthetic techniques. However, the mind is a very powerful thing and sometimes numbing a tooth is not enough for a nervous patient to complete the procedure comfortably. That’s where sedation steps in. With sedation a patient is awake and aware but they don’t care. This allows for a high level of safety since the patient still has their protective reflexes. They can breathe on their own, respond to commands and swallow or cough as needed. For most procedures, nitrous oxide is all that is needed. Nitrous oxide, or laughing gas, is breathed continually and produces a state of relaxation making dental treatment for the apprehensive very comfortable. The beauty of nitrous oxide is since it is administered by inhalation, then a five-minute oxygen flush is all that is needed to bring the patient back to a normal state and they can drive home afterwards. For those patients who have found that nitrous oxide is not adequate to alleviate their apprehension, then oral sedation, that is, just taking a couple of pills, is all the next step. This is an extremely safe method of relaxing a nervous patient. Not only will it comfort a patient, but it also provides an amnesic effect so that the person has minimal memory of the dental procedure However, some extremely apprehensive patients require a deeper sedation. That’s where IV sedation comes into play. With IV sedation we can adjust the dosage for that patient allowing them to have a very pleasant experience.
Nitrous Oxide (Laughing Gas)
Nitrous oxide (laughing gas) is an extremely helpful adjunct for dental treatment of the fearful patient. It was first discovered by Joseph Priestley in 1772, however, it was not until 1844 when Horace Wells used it as a medical anesthetic. Today, nitrous oxide is used in conjunction with local anesthetic when performing dental treatment on apprehensive patients. Nitrous oxide on its own cannot reliably anesthetize a patient profoundly enough for a patient not to feel a thing. Therefore, it must be used with novocaine to numb the area. Nitrous oxide is administered with pure oxygen and is breathed through a nasal hood. The machine that delivers the gas is a fail-safe machine which will turn off if the oxygen level falls below 35%. Nitrous oxide is not meant to put one to sleep, but merely relax. When given before the anesthetic injection, it can make that part of the procedure much more comfortable. It will put a patient in a state of mild euphoria and will alter the perception of sights, sounds, and time. It also has a mild amnesic effect leaving much less memory of the procedure. Another extremely nice feature of nitrous oxide is that the patient can be flushed with pure oxygen after the procedure and be totally lucid and able to drive home. Nitrous oxide can make a dental appointment a very pleasant experience.
Fear of dental treatment is very common. Sometimes, good anesthetic technique, behavior modification, and nitrous oxide (laughing gas) may not be enough for someone who is very fearful. Oral sedation comes to the rescue. It is important to get a good night’s sleep before a dental appointment, but with dental phobics, that can be difficult to do. At our office, we use Ativan (lorazepam), a relatively long acting sedative. We prescribe two pills. One of those pills is taken before bedtime which helps a patient get a good night’s sleep. The other pill is taken an hour before the appointment. Since Ativan is very long acting, there will still be some blood level left from the initial dose, thus providing for an extremely relaxed state once the dental appointment begins. Conscious sedation is very safe because the patient still has their protective reflexes and is able to respond to commands readily. However, they are extremely relaxed to the point that the sights, sounds, and vibrations associated with dental treatment are minimized immensely. The concept of time is altered so that the appointment seems to fly by and there is also an amnesic effect so that the patient has very little memory of the procedure. Afterwards, the patient is delightfully drowsy and will go home and have a very restful nap.
Atlanta sedation dentist, Dr. Richard P. Gangwisch, DDS, MAGD, ABGD, demonstrates IV sedation on an actual patient.
It is not unusual to have some apprehension before a dental appointment. Most, if not all, of that normally goes away once the area to be treated has been numbed. However, some people have dental phobias, usually related to past, unpleasant experiences that make even a routine dental visit a stressful occasion. For most of these people, either nitrous oxide and/or oral sedation is adequate to quell the fears, but there are still a few who need deeper sedation. There are a number of wonderful medications that can be delivered intravenously. Since these are given IV, they can be titrated (adjusted) to the perfect level for each individual patient. We use Versed (midazolam) in our office. It is a very safe sedative that can fully relax a patient, but keep their protective reflexes and their ability to respond to commands intact. We monitor vital signs continuously to assure the highest level of safety. It is important that the patient does not have anything to eat or drink after midnight. They also must have a ride home after the procedure and should not drive or operate machinery for the next 24 hours. The addition of IV sedation to a dentist’s armamentarium can make a dental procedure extremely pleasant for even the most fearful patient.
If you are nervous about dental treatment, then you are in good hands with the experienced and highly credentialed dentists at Killian Hill Dental Care serving Lilburn, Lawrenceville, Snellville and surrounding areas of Gwinnett County and Metro Atlanta. Call 770-923-3966 today for a FREE consultation.