Here at Woodland Dental Center, Dr. Hanks, Dr. Wiggins, and our team want our patients to have an exceptional dental experience, even if some of those patients suffer from dental anxiety. To help ease the fear that sometimes accompanies a dental procedure, we offer safe, effective sedation dentistry. Sedation dentistry is a combination of medications that help patients relax and get through needed dental work most of the time without any memory of the procedure.
Patients who benefit from sedation dentistry:
- You suffer from anxiety that would otherwise prevent you from seeking care
- You need to have more than one procedure completed in a single appointment
- You need to have medication administered to help with post-operative pain and sensitivity
How are sedatives administered?
- Inhalation — Nitrous oxide, or laughing gas, is the most frequently used method for easing mild to moderate anxiety. Recovery is quick so you can resume your normal activities immediately.
- Oral — An extremely common technique for dental sedation is oral sedation. It is easy and does not require the use of needles. You will be given a prescription pill which, taken about an hour before your appointment, will have you fully relaxed by the time you arrive at our office.
- IV – Dr. Hanks or Dr. Wiggins will gently place an IV and administer medication to help you into a deeper state of relaxation. Once your treatment is complete, you will wake up feeling refreshed, with little or no memory of the appointment and a beautiful new smile.
What levels of sedation are available?
There are different levels of sedative states at which Dr. Hanks and Dr. Wiggins can administer your treatment:
- Mild SedationSedation — Anxiolysis is the lightest form of sedation dentistry and is often used for patients with mild anxiety, longer procedures, or more complex situations. Mild sedation is usually administered orally. You remain awake or very sleepy throughout the entire procedure and are able to breathe on your own, but you will feel a great sense of relaxation. Patients typically recover from anxiolysis sedation within a few hours after the procedure is complete. Nitrous oxide inhalation (laughing gas) is another form of mild to moderate sedation that results in relaxation during treatment.
- Moderate Sedation — Used for patients with moderate dental anxiety and for patients who need longer or more complex procedures, conscious sedation often refers to the use of light IV sedation. With conscious sedation, you will remain awake throughout your procedure, but will be in a deep state of relaxation. Many of our patients fall asleep and stay asleep throughout the entire procedure. It is recommended that patients who receive conscious sedation have a parent, spouse, or friend accompany them to appointments because it can take several hours for the sedative to wear off and driving may be unsafe.
Using sedation dentistry, we are able to complete many different procedures, including complex smile makeovers, in just one office visit.
To determine if sedation dentistry is right for you, schedule an appointment at our Puyallup, WA office. We’ll review your medical history and any current medications you take, and discuss your unique dental needs and what procedures would best address those needs.