Do you experience high levels of anxiety when visiting the dentist? You may be a candidate for Sedation Dentistry.
Sedation dentistry or “sleep dentistry” refers to using medication to help our patients relax, decrease anxiety or even be put to sleep during dental procedures. There are various kinds of sedation, such as nitrous oxide (often called “laughing gas”), oral sedatives, intra-venous (moderate sedation), and general anesthesia.
The Mogelof Dental Group has taken hours of courses in the use of oral (conscious) sedation, commonly referred to as “Sleep Dentistry“. Sedation is usually used for extensive procedures or patients who are particularly uncomfortable or nervous with treatment.
Sedation Dentistry Professionals
The Mogelof Dental Group has a dental anesthesiologist who can provide moderate to advanced sedation in our office. Dr. Mogelof has been trained in the use of oral sedation and can make dental visits less anxious and more relaxed for our patients. It is very important for patients to communicate all current medical issues and medications prior to any type of sedation technique. Pre and post-care instructions are always reviewed with our patients so they are comfortable both before and after care.
Advantages to patients include:
- Treatment is completed when you are in a more relaxed mood.
- You will have less difficulty sitting through a lengthy procedure.
- Multiple treatments and full mouth restorations can occur during the same visit.
- Less discomfort after treatment.
The most commonly prescribed dental related drugs that treat anxiety belong to the “benzodiazepine” family. Drugs such as Valium, Halcion, Xanax, or Ativan. These drugs decrease anxiety by binding and toning down activity within “fear” receptors in the brain.
There are two different types of Benzodiazepines:
- Sedative-Hypnotics: These drugs induce calm, including drowsiness and even sleep. This sleep state is actually a form of hypnosis which is a form of physiological sleep.
- Anti-Anxiety Drugs: These are drugs which relieve anxiety and induce a state of calm and relaxation.
While benzodiazepines act as sedatives AND anti-anxiety drugs, some are highly targeted at areas within the brain which focus on sleep. Others act in a more specific way and target fear centers in the brain. In most cases, higher doses act as sedatives and induce sleep, while in lower doses, they reduce anxiety without sedation.
Benzodiazepines are also Central Nervous System (CNS) depressants (i.e. there can be a decline in blood pressure and breathing). It is important to note that they shouldn’t be mixed with other CNS depressants such as alcohol. Its important that you utilize the dose your dentist or doctor recommends. It is possible to overdose, and overdoses could lower your breathing to dangerously low levels, which could result in coma or death.
Please note that you shouldn’t travel on your own after you’ve taken any of these drugs. Make sure you have an escort, even if you traveled by bus or foot! It’s easy to become disorientated.
When not to take benzodiazepines:
Some of these drugs can effect your liver and heart. Its important to check with your physician and/or pharmacist. You should be sure to inform your doctor or dentist if any of the following apply: known allergy to the drug, narrow-angle glaucoma, pregnancy, severe respiratory disease (COPD), congestive heart failure (CHF), impaired kidney or liver function, depression/bipolar disorder/psychoses, chronic bronchitis and some other conditions. Its also important to let us know if you are taking other medications. There could be possible drug interactions.