Discover Sedation Dentistry in Winston-Salem – Relaxation Dentistry Winston-Salem
Offering sedation dentistry in Winston-Salem, Dental Center of the Carolinas is absolutely concerned with patient comfort during treatment. With millions of people suffering from dental anxiety, it comes as no surprise that we want to ensure that dental care is available to all patients, regardless of fears or anxieties. With sedation dentistry, our Winston-Salem dental patients can relax during treatment, and can escape into a state of peacefulness.
Sedation dentistry, also known as relaxation dentistry, utilizes IV, oral conscious, or nitrous oxide to make a patient at ease. Dr. Kelly is certified in Advanced Cardiac Life Support and has been performing sedation dentistry for over 15 years. He has also served as an examiner for the North Carolina State Dental Board, evaluating other doctors who are attempting to gain certification. With his experience and esteem, Dr. Kelly is a sedation dentist in Winston-Salem who you can depend on.
At Dental Center of the Carolinas, most of our patients request sedation because of fear or anxiety, but this isn’t the only situation were sedation is helpful. Some cosmetic and surgical procedures can be lengthy and to avoid restlessness during treatment, sedation is a viable option. If a patient chooses sedation dentistry for a longer procedure, they are usually more at ease and are able to fall asleep throughout the extent of the treatment. Following treatment, a reversal agent is used to help the patient awaken.
Differences In Sedatives – How do you know what’s right for you?
At Dental Center of the Carolinas, we use the most popular types of dental sedatives: nitrous oxide, oral conscious sedation, and IV sedation. While there are different levels of sedation (mild, moderate and deep), we initiate the preferred method depending on individual needs. Before administering any sedative, the dentist must analyze the full medical history of the patient, as well as taking note of any current medications.
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. Nitrous oxide sedation is also the one form of sedation we offer that does not require you to have a driver following treatment. All other forms of sedation require a patient to be driven home by a friend or relative. With nitrous oxide, drowsiness is minimal.
Intravenous sedation is a moderate type of sedation. Patients who have previously experienced IV sedation often report feeling like they slept through the entire procedure. Generally, IV sedation is used for shorter treatments. It is administered via direct injection into the bloodstream, which means the effects are immediate. Most patients feel drowsy following treatment and this is why we require a driver to accompany patients who opt for this form of sedation. With IV sedation, we request that the patient no eat anything past midnight the night before treatment. Dr. Kelly can also administer a reversal agent when necessary.
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, meaning that most patients cannot remember the pain, smells or noises associated with the procedure. When necessary, we can also inject an accelerating agent to further aid relaxation when necessary. Similar to IV sedation, oral conscious sedation also has a reversal agent available. With this procedure, we do require a separate drive to accompany you to and from your appointment because drowsiness is a possible side effect.
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 would like to schedule an appointment for sedation dentistry in Winston-Salem, contact our office at (366) 766-7966.