At Hardy Smiles, we understand that many people suffer from dental anxiety. If you are one of these people, you can rest assured that our team is committed to providing you with an anxiety-free visit to our office. We offer sedation dentistry, which can help you feel more relaxed during your treatment.
You may be a good candidate for sedation dentistry if:
- You experience high levels of fear regarding dental visits
- You have had traumatic dental experiences in the past
- You have difficulty getting numb
- You have a bad gag reflex
- You have very sensitive teeth
- You have limited time to complete your dental treatment
- You have complex dental problems
- You hate shots and needles
- You dislike the smells, sounds, and tastes associated with dental care
What is the difference between conscious sedation and general anesthesia?
Conscious sedation uses a medication to help you feel more relaxed during your treatment. This form of sedation requires the patient to be conscious (awake) during the procedure. If conscious sedation is determined to be inappropriate for the type or amount of dental work, or if it fails, our dentists may recommend general anesthesia. We have an anesthesiologist who is available to provide general anesthesia when needed to ensure that your experience with us is comfortable and safe. It is safe to receive either type of sedation, and with modern, short-acting anesthetics, patients are just as awake and alert following general anesthesia as they are after conscious sedation.
General anesthesia is a deep from of sedation in which the patient is unconscious. Because the patient will not see, hear, or feel anything during this time, general anesthesia offers both pain relief and amnesia (so you won’t remember the details of your procedure). General anesthesia is performed by our anesthesiologist using intravenous and/or inhalation agents to ensure that the patient is completely asleep. Dr. Hardy and Dr. Alecia may suggest general anesthesia for very young children, very resistant children, severe dental phobics, or special needs patients who are unable to cooperate for dental treatment.
Oral medication is a pill taken by mouth to help you feel more at ease during your treatment. This form of sedation is safe, convenient, and economical. Before coming to our office for your treatment, you will take a prescribed oral sedative, which will put you into a comfortable, relaxed state. You will remain awake throughout your appointment, but you will feel very drowsy. Your treatment will be over before you know it and you won’t remember most of the details of your procedure. During your free initial consultation at our office, our dentists will review your medical history to determine whether oral medication is the right choice for your needs.
Nitrous Oxide (Laughing Gas)
Nitrous oxide is a light, safe form of sedation that is both non-allergenic and non-irritating. A type of inhalation sedation, the gas tends to reduce gag reflexes and saliva flow as well. Nitrous oxide can help you feel completely relaxed during your procedure. The gas is administered through a small mask placed over your nose. The nitrous oxide is mixed with oxygen for a safe, comfortable treatment. Once the treatment is over and the flow of nitrous oxide is stopped, you will feel back to normal within just 3-5 minutes.
IV sedation is administered through a drug that is delivered directly into a vein. If deep sedation is desired, IV sedation is safe and predictable, and it provides you with a profound state of relaxation and amnesia. Our anesthesiologist inserts a very thin needle into a vein close to the surface of the skin, and an IV drip consisting of anti-anxiety medication helps you enter a state of deep relaxation. Time will seem to pass very quickly, and you will likely remember very little about your procedure. With IV sedation, a local anesthetic is also used to ensure your comfort.
Pulse Oximeter & Blood Pressure Monitoring
During all sedation appointments, our team continually monitors the blood pressure and pulse of our patients. We also use a pulse oximeter that gently clips onto the finger to monitor the patient’s blood oxygen saturation levels.
To learn more about sedation dentistry in Louisburg, North Carolina, and to schedule your free consultation with our skilled dentists, we invite you to contact us today!