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About Sedation Dentistry La Jolla

A significant number of Americans do not visit the dentist for regular checkups because they are too fearful or suffer from dental anxiety. Sedation dentistry offers an excellent way to provide a safe, anxiety-free, dental experience to those who are afraid of the dentist.

Sedation dentistry is often mistakenly thought to induce sleep. In fact, most sedatives allow the patient to stay awake during the procedure. Sleepiness is a side effect of some medications, but nitrous oxide, oral conscious sedation and IV sedation only work to calm anxiety throughout the dental visit with our dentist La Jolla.

Sedation dentistry is popular because most sedatives can be taken by mouth, meaning no injections, no anxiety, and no pain. Some sedatives work so effectively that even the smells and details of the procedure cannot be recalled afterwards. Safety and compliance are two important aspects of treatments, so sedation dentistry offers both the individual and the dentist the best alternative.

Whatever the form of sedative, it is essential to be accompanied by a caregiver. Sometimes, sedatives are provided the night before the dental visit, which means that driving to or from the appointment is not advisable.

Here are some advantages associated with sedation dentistry:

  • Anxiety is alleviated.
  • Few side effects.
  • More can be accomplished during each visit.
  • No needles.
  • No pain.
  • Perfectly safe.
  • Procedures seem to take less time.

What kinds of sedatives are available?

The most popular types of dental sedatives are nitrous oxide, oral conscious sedation, and IV sedation. Different levels of sedation (mild, moderate and deep) can be utilized depending on individual needs. Before administering any sedative, our dentist La Jolla must analyze the full medical history of the patient, as well as taking note of any current medications.

Here is an overview of some of the most common types of dental sedatives:

Nitrous Oxide

Nitrous oxide, or “laughing gas,” is used as a mild sedative.  It is delivered through a nose hood, and is administered throughout the entire procedure. Nitrous oxide elevates the general mood and can evoke a general sense of well-being. Most importantly, it relieves anxiety and reduces pain during the procedure. In addition, some tingling and numbness may be felt. There are few side effects associated with nitrous oxide, and it has been safely used in dentistry for many years.

Oral Conscious Sedation

Oral conscious sedation is an excellent choice for people who fear needles. Oral medication is provided prior to treatment in order to induce a moderate state of sedation. Though oral sedatives do not cause sleep, they usually dull the senses. This means that most patients cannot remember the pain, smells or noises associated with the procedure. Usually, a dose of medication is taken prior to the appointment, and then topped up during the procedure as required.

What types of drugs are used in oral conscious sedation?

Most of the drugs used in sedation dentistry are classified as benzodiazepines. Benzodiazepines reduce anxiety, muscle spasms, insomnia and seizures. Each medication has a different half-life, meaning that the effects last for varying amounts of time. The estimated length of the procedure determines which type of drug is going to be most effective.

Here are some of the most common drugs used in oral conscious sedation:

Valium® – This sedative has amnesic properties and a long half-life. It is usually used for time-consuming, complex procedures.

Halcion® – Usually used to treat insomnia, Halcion is an effective sedative with amnesic properties. A short half-life makes this sedative useful for shorter procedures.

Ativan® – This sedative is best known for reducing anxiety. It has amnesic properties and a medium half-life.  Ativan is typically used for treatments shorter than two hours.

Versed® – This sedative has the shortest half-life and is therefore less commonly used. It alleviates anxiety in much the same way as nitrous oxide, and is used for visits that will take less than 30 minutes.

If you have questions or concerns about sedation dentistry, please ask your dentist.



Testimonials

★★★★★ I have been going to Bird Rock Dental ever since moving to San Diego in 1976, first seeing Dr. Kent and now, after his retirement, Dr. Murray. Cathy has cleaned my teeth for years and she's great! In fact, everyone at Bird Rock Dental is welcoming, warm, and helpful. I can't say enough good things about them. They all are excellent and I highly recommend !!!!
Jane - Actual Patient

 

★★★★★ I have been going to Bird Rock Dental since I moved to San Diego in 1987. I have always been extremely happy with the kind and competent care I have received.
Barbara - Actual Patient

 

★★★★★ I have been going to Bird Rock Dental for over 25 years..I started out with Dr Burgess and since his retirement have seen Dr Murray..the dental care I have received has been excellent. Never any problems..kind and gentle..I currently have fillings and crowns that are 20 to 25 years old and are still perfect...I highly recommend this office...
Susan - Actual Patient

 

★★★★★ Dr. Murray is extremely knowledgeable, patient, and detailed. Everyone in our family sees him, and we are extremely happy to have found a dentist we trust. His staff are very friendly and work their magic to fit you in, even if he has a full schedule.
Nadine - Actual Patient

 

★★★★★ Always have nice experience when Kathy does my teeth cleaning. She is very thorough and gentle as she can be. The check in staff are pleasant and attentive to detail.
Ines - Actual Patient

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